I just spent five weeks returning to basics. Working with landscape composition and value in a series of pencil thumbnail studies, I chose one composition from each set of thumbnail images to create a larger black and white value study in oil. These were then used as reference material for an oil painting in full color.
In the beginning this seemed like a tedious way to work. I rather quickly discovered the value of the practice and kept going. Now I can say the process has become great fun. I highly recommend it!