These past 2 days I have been putting the first layer of paint on the picture you see above. During this phase I can flirt with being an impressionistic painter, detail is not a concern. What do I want to accomplish with this initial pass? Most important, develop a color scheme (I had in mind "70's prep", do they still make the pink shirts and ties with green whales?), establish the dark and light areas, shadow and light. What's going on in my head right now? The sky is a big question, how do I treat the clouds, will I tone down the color, how am I going to coordinate all the green hues, hmmm? After so many years in the studio, this stage of uncertainty and possibility is what keeps me at the easel. Check back for stage 2.