Much like the old masters, I use a structured approach. Using multiple references images and digital image editing software, I work out my design ideas first to create a compelling composition. This allows me to focus completely on color mixing to achieve the right combination of color, value and temperature to model forms, create depth and accurately render nuances of light and shadow. Illustrated below are the progressive stages I follow from start to finish to complete an oil painting. This process typically takes me about four weeks for a large work, less for a small work. I find that using either Quinacridone Magenta or Raw Umber works best for creating the underpainting, depending on the local colors of the subject.