Last week I had a couple of days with no students to teach which happened to coincide with some very sunny weather. I made the most of it by going out to the woods and painting the picture above. Last year I painted a small sketch of the scene from more or less the same angle, and had planned to produce a larger version. The benefits of painting the first sketch were significant: I could plan the composition more accurately, paint into the effect (anticipate the effects of the change in light and choose those I wanted in my picture) and work out the quickest way of painting the scene. Below is my initial sketch.