One of the ingredients in that can of Mind Raid was to develop a set of "guidelines" to follow when the urge hit to just sit down at the easel and slap paint on canvas; a way to slow myself down and actually think about what I was doing, rather than just doing it blindly and creating lots of birdcage liners. I don't necessarily follow it to the letter, it is just a set of abridged guidelines, but it has the benefit of giving the left brain something to do while the right brain is having all the fun.
- Start with what inspires you. You. Not anyone else.
- Identify the emotion you want to convey about the subject. Is it peaceful? funny? moody?
- Pick the size and shape of the canvas. Or paper. Or panel. Or whatever substrate that has caught your interest at the moment.
- Select a value theme. Light, middle, or dark toned? The selected value should occupy more than half of the image.
- Select a color temperature. Warm or cool?
- Select a color intensity. Bright or dull.
- Choose a dominant color.
- Select a color scheme. Primary. Secondary. Intermediate. Analogous. Complementary. Split complementary. Monochromatic. Complementary with discords.
- Build a composition. Start with your inspiration, and sketch simple shapes in only three values until you find an arrangement you like. Divide the space into unequal proportions. Create movement with flowing patterns. Look for contrast opportunities.
- Incorporate good design principles into the composition. Balance. Dominance. Unity. Harmony. Repetition. Rhythm. Gradation. Contrast.
- Establish a format. "S" format. "L" format. Tunnel format. Triangle format. Pattern format. Asymmetrical balance. Radiating Line. etc., etc.
- Communicate your inspiration. Choose a dominant focus.
- Establish the center of interest (focal point).
- Use design elements to help portray your inspiration. Line, shape, direction, size, texture, value, and color.
My Muse is taking notes. To utility, and beyond.