Making lots of starts.
"Put off finish as it takes a lifetime - wait until later to try to finish things - make a lot of starts." ~Charles Hawthorne
Scottsdale Artists' School workshop. Many times I don't get very far in my demos during workshops, as I always encourage dialog between myself and my students.
One of the main ideas I teach in my workshops is not to be concerned with finishing any of the studies we do. It is in these little studies of the art principles that we as artists learn and grow. By doing these exercises it helps to break us out of habits that we have developed over many years which can cloud our vision.
I thought I would share a resent email I sent to a student interested in taking one of my upcoming workshops.
First off, I very much appreciate your comments and questions.
When I first set up my curriculum for workshops I decided to approach it from two different directions. The first is to insure that the students understand the basic elements of painting/art via short studies focusing on single elements--example the limited palette. This is by far the best way for artists (including myself) to learn and grow. The second is to allow students more time to work on one piece/pose, so they may take something home that gives them a sense of accomplishment--a more finished piece.
That being said, I have found that the students learn so much more through the shorter studies that I have found myself reducing the time spent on the longer paintings. I have always said, I would rather students take home knowledge than product. This knowledge always finds its way into our work and leads to faster improvement. I do encourage students to take photos of the model as we go, and so when the students get home they can use the studies and the photos in combination to make a larger, more complete painting.
As for the longer pose, I have to be flexible in workshops because of the model's availability. Sometimes we can't get the same model for the entire day. So I approach the longer sessions in one of two ways. Either one long pose on the last day (morning/afternoon) or splitting the long poses up in two or more afternoon slots. One advantage of this approach is it allows me to teach my methods of working back into a dry painting.
Hope this helps.