1) Laying in some ground work. I find that having a warm tonality to the ground work for a final image with a cooler tonality really helps with my color choices. A cool ground can work for a warm toned painting as well.
Sometimes I like to place opposite colors down too. It helps me in judging Hue relationships as well. For example, Green grass try a red ground or a blue sky try an orange or yellow.
Getting started is probably the most challenging part. I think a lot about how to start a painting. It dictates the direction of your work a lot. I know it doesn't look like anything but I've got the most basic breakdown of large shapes in this step.
2) Blocking in color. Getting in some darks and lights. General idea of color for large areas. Picking at warms and cools here and there. Keeping it really general.
3) Working from background to foreground now. Sometimes it works to do the foreground first then the background. It mostly depends on your subject. Doing the foreground can work by establishing your value contrast and then you'll know everything else behind it will have less contrast. For this though, I wanted to make sure the tree looked like it is in front of the sky.
4) The Sky is almost there. Adding some more definition of light and shadow to the tree. Making some touches to the foreground bushes.
5) blocking in some more color to the bushes. Making some decisions as to how they will lay out.
6) Adding some more color and texture. Using some dry brushing and my favorite tool, the palette knife.
7) Making my shapes of color look like the objects they represent. Compositionally, I make some of the bush branches point towards the focal point which is the tree.
8) Adding in the tree branches and sky holes. Sky holes are typically darker than the sky surrounding the tree.
9) Making the tree look fuller and defining the mountains. Making some touch ups and it's almost set!
Finished Painting- signed in lower right. Let it dry, frame it, and ship it out to be hung in a gallery.