O.K. I have to keep repeating this mantra. Preparation is a key ingredient to the success of a painting. But I don't think that I am unlike most artists who want to jump ahead to the fun stuff, the painting. Impulsiveness. At the Mentor watercolor workshop, we spent the first hour drawing our still life set-ups. My goals were the following: to familiarize myself with the subject matter; to understand the underlying rhythms of dark and light values that lead the eye through the painting; and to be able to merge similarly valued shapes for the sake of simplification. And yet, I wanted to retain the enthusiasm for the painting. (I didn't want to spend it all on the drawing.) I believe the preparation paid off. I used the drawing as a road map to guide my painting and used the actual objects for color and detail references. I think it made for a better painting, at least one that eliminated meandering, making all strokes more crucial and significant.