I try to spend an hour each day studying Chess. I rarely play an actual game against an opponent except Fritz on my laptop. Its engine is much too strong to play at full strength and if I feel the need to boost my confidence I reduce its strength to ‘moron’ standard when I can usually manage to win. Chess is a beautiful but complex game and to make any sense of it requires study and analysis. Since I am no ambition to compete at any high level study of strategy and games played by GM’s in major tournaments is for me a form of relaxation.
The thought has occurred to me that a painting is constructed rather like a game of chess. An opening phase where the ground is prepared and the preliminary moves made with the brush. Next you have to devise a plan or strategy to develop the painting. Finally an endgame where the final marks are made and the painting brought to a conclusion. Just as the chess player has a number of variations to learn so the painter may have a bewildering number of options to consider in developing his painting.