How do I begin the process of making a painting? Of course, there is first the idea. Next, I consider what medium would work best for the painting. Sometimes a black and white subject such as a dapple-grey horse is perfect for a charcoal drawing on dark gray paper. You see a picture of "BJ" on the right as an example. I knew as soon as I saw the reference photograph that it would be beautiful just to be done in black and white only.
Sometimes while I am working on one painting or project I start another. This is especially helpful when I get to a tough area and I feel I will never get the painting done right! I do something else for awhile to give myself a break. When I go back to the troublesome project I work through it until it is done.
Because I frequently have several projects going all at one time, I find I usually finish all or most of them at about the same time. Of course, if there is a due date or it is a commission I do not follow this process exactly. Although, I sometimes find it necessary to step away from an intense project for awhile to relax. For example, if I am working on oil portrait I might pull out my watercolors and work on a fun exercise or work on a sketch for a new painting.
That is a part of the process of creativity in any endeavor. Whether you are at work, school or home, it is sometimes a good thing to do something different for awhile and come back to your original work. It gives you a fresher perspective and maybe some good ideas for future projects!