Before a basketball player goes out and plays a game, they warm up. The same is true for most artists.
Before starting on a painting for the day, I will paint on at least a few warm up paintings. Some of these I will post on Twitter and Facebook when I’m done But some of them I re-gesso and work again because I am not happy with the outcome. An art teacher of mine, Robert Burridge has often said of warm-up paintings “Many are created, few are chosen.”
Normally I do my warm up paintings on watercolor paper, which has been treated to accept acrylic paint. Sometimes I also do small canvas paintings as well.
Some days I play with color combinations. Other days my attention is more the focus of light and dark values within the painting. There have been times in my work that I have spent days simply doing warm up paintings in order to better understand a new color combination. Before taking that new color group to a larger painting.