The next thing I do is to trace the outline of the painting on to the canvas using graphite paper. In the first shot you can see the lines on the right. (I began painting before I started this series so I don't have a picture of the whole drawing but you get the idea.)
I start painting at the upper left hand corner and work to the lower right hand corner when I paint. This leaves room for my hand to rest on the canvas without getting paint covered, as these are small paintings and I work with them on a table not an easel. I need a steady hand as the details are small.
This is not the way one is "supposed to paint". The usual method suggested in art school is to begin the whole painting at once going into the dark areas with thin paint and working all over the canvas at the same time, gradually getting thicker and thicker and into the lighter areas.
I have painted this way and when working outside must use this method. However, I really enjoy the 'coloring book' method much better. There is something soothing about simply going along inch by inch filling in until you get to the end. It requires patience and a sense of the whole while you are working and of course I must go back and edit sometimes. In this case I am having second thoughts about the trash barrel. I like the way the boy is pushed by the tree but the barrel is an awkward, heavy shape and maybe I will paint it out. I can eliminate it in photoshop and see what I think before I do that. We'll see.