Too many people begin a painting by simply getting hold of a photograph, drawing it carefully on paper or canvas and than painting it. Whilst this can work successfully, it is a very limited approach.
By using the following method, it is more time consuming, you will create much more interesting and creative paintings as well as finding the whole experience more challenging and exciting.
1. Try to draw from things seen rather than from a photograph. If you have to use photographs use a number as the starting point, combine elements from more than one and create your own idea.
2. When you have your drawings/idea try creating a tonal sketch of your idea using graphite or charcoal. Working out where the lights and darks are going to be is important.
3 Try sketching out your idea simply a few times and painting it with different colour schemes. If you have access to a computer and scanner, scan your drawing into the computer and play with colour schemes in a suitable drawing/painting package.
When you are satisfied with a good colour scheme and you have worked out the tonal values, sketch out your idea and create your masterpiece.
If you are really stuck for a colour scheme or have difficulty with working out colour schemes try this: Get hold of a colour wheel – most art shops sell them. – cover half the colour wheel, use the colours you can see, plus one colour from the covered section. For example: the greens/blues/purples half of the colour wheel- plus one opposite colour; yellow/orange. You would be surprised the number of painters who use this method.