Step 1; Choose a subject & a canvas. I picked this photo I took at the Flatwoods, (previously included in a SkyWatch post,) & a 12x16" canvas.
Step 2; Choose tools. For the background, I've chosen a 2" house painting brush & my favorite, 3/4" flat brush. Acrylic paints; titanium white, cadmium orange, alizarin crimson, prussian blue & dioxazine purple. I use lids from plastic containers as pallets, as we always have plenty of them, the lip on the edge keeps thinned paints contained & they clean up fairly easily (even after the paint has dried.) The washcloth is for blotting my brushes (to remove excess color or water.) I also put newspaper down. Most painters paint vertically on an easel. I prefer to paint flat on a table. This allows me to use thin washes of paint without them dripping down the canvas.
The next photo shows the result of the 1st painting session. I left the bottom of the canvas blank, as that will be filled in later.
During the 2nd painting session I darkened up the top part of the sky & scumbled in the details in the lower part (the pink cloud edges & the breaks in the clouds,) with small- & medium-sized round brushes. Looking at the photo, I noticed that a small bit of the bottom of the sunset had some yellow in it, so I threw down a wash of cadmium yellow.
In the last painting session, I added the ground & trees in mars black, using a couple of small, round brushes. I also painted the outside edges of the canvas black to make it suitable for hanging without a frame.
16x12" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas (sold Nov. 7, 2009.)