Here is my cat Valantine contemplating starting the painting without me. Those are my husband's hairy arms and legs, ;-) not mine.
And here I had some fast graphic fun with that photo, turning Valentine into an en plein air, on location painting artist. Now I'll see which of us can paint best, the cat or me.
I start a painting with a plan. It is just like writing, knitting or crochet at this stage. Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.
Know what you plan to paint before you pick up the brush.I have planned my colour harmony, the light and shade pattern and created a simple sketch of the scene. Knowing what to leave out of the painting is as important as deciding what to include; you are not copying a photo.