Importance of Idea Development

July 31, 2017

      How important or unimportant is planning or sketching out pre-meditated ideas before your start working on your actual art piece? The adage “fail to plan, plan to fail” is very true when applied to developing a work of art. Pre-meditated is defined as something done deliberately or planned. Additionally, it must have a purpose and involves careful planning and often, requires research before it happens. It is derived from two Latin words, pre “before” and meditate “to ponder”. Scholars and thinkers may say if an idea isn’t written down, then it doesn’t exist. Conversely, if an idea must be written down to remember it, it’s not a good idea in the first place. A work of art begins with an idea, “concept”. Further thought or pondering the idea to develop beyond the original idea includes considerations about size, medium, placement, etc. As the list grows, artists often sketch, color and make journal entries. In the case of a painting, I often sketch directly on my canvas. To develop my color pallet, I like to use a piece of canvas to make my value studies. Another useful tool for developing a painting is to make watercolor as preliminary to the oil or acrylic on canvas. I once had a commission for a painting and presented my idea with a watercolor meant to help explain the concept. However, I never mad the painting. My client fell in love with the watercolor and later commissioned a second as a companion piece. If I plan to do a series of paintings, I may purchase or make multiple stretched canvases of the same size. I will then plan the works. Thought precedes formal development, and finished product. I always have an idea before I start hands on activity. Art cannot be made without planning. Even “happy accidents” have roots in thought and planning. If planning is not important, then the art isn’t either.

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KENNETH CRAIG PRUITT