A few years back I took workshops from 3 artists whose work I greatly admired. Andy Evansen, Tom Francesconi, and Alvaro Castagnet each create very unique paintings but all exhibit a confidence and clarity in their paint application. They are superb mark-makers. They could put the right (e.g., correct value and color) mark down in the right place and the right time. How did they do this? Experience. I understood this to mean figuring it out and practicing it until it was imbedded. Hence the two value studies above, trying to gain experience in seeing shapes and designing the rectangle, and then to apply paint in the desired values. No color at this point, just trying to get it organized.