Stage 1: Basically, at this point it looks like large shapes and blocks of color and that is exactly what it should look like. This is an ugly phase - no definition. I like to think of it as a map, this is just letting you know where to put everything else on top of it.
Stage 2: A little more definition. At this point I am building up some contrast in color and value. There are more darks and lights and more ranges in color, but there are really no details yet.
Stage 3. Because I only allow myself one hour to work, there really aren't many details, but what detail I was able to add, was added in the last few minutes. The little yellow specs were added at the very end. I have heard it said many times before, start with the bigger shapes and gradually get smaller until you finish with the tiniest details, but I never understood the way that I do now.
I find the teeny details to be the most fun and very often, my favorite part of a painting.
It has never been so apparant to me the building upon layers and gradually getting smaller and smaller. Second day of the one hour painting, lesson learned: start with the big blocks of shape and color and work your way down to the smaller details.