I am beginning a new painting this week and have been working on the composition. I love using photographs for this part of the process, as they seem to create distance and objectivity. While many artists prefer to just leap right into a painting with very little planning and see what emerges, that approach is never very satisfying for me. Somewhere along the way I usually end up wishing I had 3 more inches here or there to create the perfect balance. After many frustrating years using the extemporaneous, alla prima approach, I finally abandoned it and came home to good old fashioned preparation and planning. The result is that my paintings are more visually satisfying, and I am much happier with the end result. So, here I have posted a photographic sketch of one possible composition for my new painting of a dear friend’s sister. My daughter says that I should omit the barn in the background. Compositionally, perhaps the sharp line of the roof draws too much attention to itself,as everything else is very organic in shape. I am still considering whether to leave it in or take it out…what do you think?