The other night I wanted to do an exercise in loosening up. Sometimes I have a tendency to tighten up my paintings when I know they are for a commission, or are going to be for sale. I want them to be perfect, and there is always a time crunch, so I don't want to make a mistake and have to start over. But in thinking this way, I can lose some life, spontaneity or some happy accidents in the artwork. Plus, when you are working with really expensive watercolor paper, you don't want to ruin it. Also, I usually need to work on smaller paper, so it will fit in my scanner. Working small automatically makes me slow down and be more detailed.
So this night, I decided to just do a loose sketch on some inexpensive larger (14in x 17in) sketch paper. Not for sale or a commission, just for fun. Although I started this out simply as a pencil sketch, and this paper is not meant for watercolor, I ended up adding watercolor anyway. It was a lot of fun, and accomplished my goal of loosening up!