Every so often, an artist's work comes to my attention and it feels as if it was "supposed" to. Recently, Ken Howard's paintings caught my eye in a book on painting interiors that my husband brought home from a used book store, and just last week I stumbled upon a book focusing on his philosophy and techniques. He reminds me of how important drawing and painting from life is. I'm not going to be giving up my photo references anytime soon, but am really trying to get out and draw and sketch daily from life. Since I wasn't able to set my paints up in my kitchen for the day, I first did a watercolor sketch and then used that and a photo reference. Doing the watercolor really helped me to study the subject and see color, value and composition before I started in with oils.