These are 20 minute composition & value studies from life model sessions done earlier this year. Each are done on ~8″x10″ gessoed watercolor paper using oil paint.
From these exercises I really learned how to treat the entire surface as a whole. The focus was not for accurate proportions of the figures but to cover the entire surface of the picture space and think about the composition as well as value. Having the first four lines of a drawing or painting be the actual square, rectangle, circle or whatever the space will be confined to helped set things into place. I used to do that only for smaller thumbnails but my studies with professor Domenic Cretara at California State University Long Beach this past spring in composition studies for figure painting made me realize that those confining boundaries are a just as much a part of the painting as well.
I also learned that using a neutral toned background was enjoyable as well. I like using Venetian Red/Red Oxide or a mix of yellow ochre, white with a drop of black for a cooler tone.