The start of a painting usually occurs when out looking for inspiration. After finding an intriguing visual idea I try out some basic compositional ideas in a sketch then block out the basic shapes on a stretched canvas. After a few hours on the site, I take the canvas to my studio to work on when weather does not allow painting outside. Acrylics are my favorite medium for working outside, they dry quickly, are richly pigmented, can be used in loose washes as well as opaque strokes. I am learning to work with oil paints as well and often return to my first medium of soft pastels for quick studies and life drawing.
I do love color but ultimately feel that a painting, especially a landscape, must work well without the element of color, the pattern of dark and light areas are the bones. Restraining the urge to throw color down, in order to first find the best underlying design is a struggle when outside in the beauty of Alaska, but what a great place to work on art!