In other words, I need help. Direction. Organization. A guide. Otherwise this endeavor will be like trying to climb Mt. Everest without a Sherpa.
Enter the Art Instruction Books. Every artist has their favorites, and two that I currently prize are Bob Rohm's The Painterly Approach, and Kevin Macpherson's Landscape Painting Inside & Out. Both contain some fabulous skill building ideas. One of the first suggestions in Bob Rohm's book is to create value studies using a limited number of values or value range. With my literary mentors to guide me, I decided that this first endeavor would be to work with a full range of four, mostly evenly spaced values.
Phooey on hue and chroma; working with just value was actually quite liberating. And just for fun, I had to do another with the leftover paint, this time just splashing, mixing and scumbling with jubilant abandon.
I'm already coming up with all sorts of variations on this theme, and I'm just itching to try them. Give me an idea of what exercises you use to improve your skills. I'm in full Willing To Make A Fool Out Of Myself Publicly mode, and have a sudden yen to experiment. (Within reason, of course. If it involves large amounts of open flame, vats of hallucinogenic substances, or the use of arachnids in any way, shape or form, I may have to pass on trying it. At least publicly.)
My Muse has decided to take a short vacation while Left Brain is in the pilot's seat. To experimentation, and beyond!