Here are a few step by step comments on a recent painting titled "Pumpkins on the Hearth".
I began with a 16x20" Masonite board primed with Gesso. I toned the board with a thin coat of Burnt Sienna applied by simply wetting the board slightly with a mist bottle and then I squirted the paint from the tube directly onto the board and wiped it around the entire surface. I then drew the basic shapes on the board with charcoal.
I'm using acrylics which dry fast allowing me to apply glazes easily but at this point I'm simply blocking in the colors and values. The Burnt Sienna undertone helps to more easily unify the painting. I'm using mostly transparent colors at first to get rich dark tones.
This process continues being careful not to get carried away with any detail until I'm sure that the placement and values of each object is where I want it to be.
This block in continues carefully but freely using paints that are quite thin at this point.
Now I begin to refine some areas of the pumpkins to give them form where the light it hitting them from the window.
The detail starts to build using simple forms and heavier paints are applied as the painting progresses.
The leaves in the window and on the hearth start to take shape but I kept them as loosly undefined shapes until this point which kept the painting fresh.
Finally touches of detail such as rim lighting on the leaves of the plant near the window and a few individual kernals of corn (not easily seen in the photo) are added.