Original reference photo taken in the Napa Valley.
First thing I do in planning this painting is to crop the photo to improve the composition.
Now I study the photo and see where the important big shapes are and how the layout works into a Z composition. That helps me clarify where the eye should move through the painting when it is done. Sometimes I use my iPad notebook or sketchbook app to do this pre-planning.
Then I begin by blocking in the big shapes and getting the general location and value range indicated.
Next I start painting the sky and background working forward to the foreground where my center of interest is located.
In the end I start highlighting and adjusting the values to help the eye flow into the painting better.
Napa Valley Agapanthus, 27x19 Acrylic