A really good guide from my online class at AAU:
- Choose your image from a photographic reference.
- Do thumbnail sketches for your composition. Add value.
- Choose the format that suits your subject (vertical, horizontal).
- Sketch in the general shapes on a toned canvas.
- Analyze basic values. Squint!
- Begin painting from the background; the sky, hills, mountains — any distant elements; lightest and coolest areas.
- Work from the background towards the middleground, then the foreground; from top to bottom of the canvas.
- Squint and block in mid-darks (not darkest-darks) with a large brush. Keep it loose in fashion.
- Block in mid-lights (not lightest-lights) using more intense colors for middleground and foreground.
- Check the shape characteristics and differences in clouds, distant mountain, trees, buildings, etc
- Check the edges; softer edges and less contrast in the background; more contrast and texture towards the middleground to foreground (see Module 4: Session 6).
- Add more subtlety within darks and lights.
- Refine detail where necessary. Be mindful of the focal point.
- Add darkest darks and lightest light accents. Squint again!
- Clean Up!