The challenge of demos is the nerve-wracking feeling that #1 people are watching! Yikes. #2 I have to explain what I'm doing while I'm doing it! #3 I've got to get this to look like something in 60 minutes! Trust me folks, it is scary no matter how many times I do it. At least with plein air you have the security of knowing if it doesn't go well, nobody has to see it. :)
However, the biggest lesson I have learned from doing this type of work is the benefit of FOCUS. I must prioritize! Going for the main role of each object and letting little details go.
I really have to decide quickly: What's the point of this painting? What value is that? Color? Saturation? Warmer, Cooler? What's the best shape? What kind of brushstroke? Harder or Softer Edge? Thick, thin? I have to push the painting to "finish" with every decision, every brushstroke.
It is such an exciting problem solving game where you have to put something down and see how it works. Some turn out better than others, but in general there is a freshness, a spontaneity, a mystery, a movement that I sometimes miss out on when I have 2 days in the studio.
So, if you have not tried setting a time limit for yourself - give it a shot! Grab a smaller panel, set a timer and paint with the most focus you can. I suggest 60 minutes as your brain will get tired. Take a break...and do another! There is a lot to be learned that I think we can apply to our more "finished" studio work.
Here are some examples of some 60-90 minute demos:
You will get faster and better the more you do. Give it a Go and let me know your thoughts. Best wishes.