The anatomical study is an essential step for many artists. It allows them to specify the composition before moving on to the execution. Also, the study of the human figure appears in the work of the artist as a means of creating repertoires of certain typical characters (according to their age, gender, profession). The study of the human figure is also a technical exercise to convey to the viewer the interiority of a character.
The usefulness of preparatory studies for landscape paintings varies from artist to artist. Some artists use pencil and ink sketches to respect proportions, while others use watercolor to create a chromatic harmony from a combination of colors.
Thus, some artists, like H.E Cross, make their preparatory watercolors directly on the place they wish to represent. The small format allows them to capture the moment, the colors, the shadows and the lights, without having to carry too much material with them. Later, in their studio, they take this study work back to create the final work.