Some people think painters just paint when in fact we don't! I thought I would show you my proccess and you can see all that goes into one painting.
Shown here are my reference photos
from a trip to Wyoming where
we stumbled across a really
pretty meadow and a grove of aspen trees.
Usually before I even begin painting or formally planning I spend a good deal of time "off paper" planning, in my head. In this one that was the case. Since we saw the aspen grove my brain has been thinking of the composition, the light, the forms. The picture turned diagonally has one aspen on it that has some really pretty leaves in front of the trunk. I usually sketch out some plans for possible paintings ahead of time. I think I had 4 sketches before I settled on one. I try to figure out what direction the light is coming from, where the light, medium and dark hues will be, a center of attention, a pleasing composition and what colors I'll use. Not every single painting I do this formally in a sketch book, but I do almost always plan those things out mentally.