When I start a new painting, after I finish the drawing, the next step for me is to ‘fill in’ the rest of canvas with color. There are several ways that I can do this and which one I choose depends on the needs of the painting and the context of what I’m working on. Sometimes I just fill in large areas with generalized paint, like I did with the sky and parts of the background in this painting.
There are some things that I don’t paint at all in this first layer, as you can also see in the above image; there will eventually be a large tree that goes here, a major element of the work. However, I’ve just painted over my drawing of it with the sky; there are few reasons for this. The major reason is that the tree will have a large impact on the composition of the painting as a whole, so it is very important I get a feel for the rest of the work by painting it in before I commit to doing the tree.
Other times I basically complete sections of the painting on my first go, before everything else is done. As you can see above, the details around this rock are close to finalized. I finished this rock formation for the opposite reason I didn’t even start the tree. The rock won’t have a major effect on the composition, so I already know how it needs to look and I feel comfortable painting it.