Layout can make or break the final work.

Firelight #3. Planning out the layout.
Firelight #3. Planning out the layout.

Planning the layout for a canvas is one of the most important elements of what makes a painting work and starting a painting without a fair idea, a road-map of sorts, is a huge gamble. Most great artists do a series of preliminary drawings before ever touching paint. I have rarely done that and it is sometimes what makes my work fail during process, I suppose.
I do paint continually in my head and often have a fair notion of what I intend to do but I re-evaluate and adjust as I go. Most paintings start with a photograph (no guarantee of good layout) and the final look may drift far from where it started. Hard telling where this layout will need to go with so few elements to use.

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