I was familiar with the concept but had never tried it, so, since my 2018 art resolutions included all the above goals, I decided why not? My first two paintings were still life set ups next to my easel and the rest were from photo references (Oregon and Scotland). The way it works is preplan the subject, do the basic decision-making of composition, canvas size, color scheme, lay out the paint, put a simple drawing or sketch lines on the canvas, set the timer for 20 minutes and...go!
Trust me, there is no extra time to dinker around! You have to Concentrate! Your brain has to focus and choose and get it done. All the little voices in my head from previous instructors kept reminding me of the important things: values, edges, shadows, perspective. Nothing else occupied my mind except those 20 minutes of intense focus.
My biggest take-away from this exercise is that it is an excellent way to prepare for a bigger painting. The preplanning helps with all the important decisions and the limit of 20 minutes forces me to simplify the shapes and keep the painting loose and expressive. So these are the six little paintings I did over those five days and I hope to paint larger versions this spring of the Oregon coast.