When I was at school my art teachers were always encouraging me to sketch, but I was always too keen to start my paintings without any preliminary work.
In my rush to start refining and adding detail I missed out on the opportunities sketching provides.
When I’m feeling inspired I grab a pencil and a few scraps of paper and sketch out my ideas very quickly to get them out of my head and onto the paper.
This way a composition or idea can evolve very rapidly and I don’t get bogged down in details. It doesn’t matter that its messy or unrefined at this stage, what’s important is exploring ideas.
Sketching is fun!
Now I wouldn’t dream of starting a painting without first sketching some rapid compositional ideas and preliminary observations. I enjoy it, and when it comes to the detail it’s so much easier for having sketched it all in rough beforehand.