Though quite a departure from my usual tightly rendered acrylic paintings, I've always admired those who paint with oils in a somewhat "loose" style. It took me years to realize the process behind this style of work is anything but "loose." There is a great deal of thought behind every brush stroke allowing the artist to convey his message with relatively few (but well placed) swatches of paint. This economy of brushwork is what gives the paintings their spontaneous feel. Sometimes called "quick studies," the only thing quick about them is the amount of time (usually less than a day, sometimes less than an hour) taken to complete them. The actual application of paint is quite deliberate, getting each brush stroke correct before moving on to the next. I've found the more I slow down, the faster these studies work themselves out. If I take my time and get it right the first time, there's no need to spend time figuring out why it doesn't look "right" and then going back to fix it.
It always feels good to step away from my comfort zone and work on proficiency in another medium and style. Working with larger brushes is always a challenge for me since my usual work is done on such a tiny scale. Studying other styles and expanding my artistic arsenal translates into my acrylic work, keeping me fresh and honest. I've still got a lot to learn as I move forward with my oils, but I'm enjoying both the progress and the process.