Starting with a picture, either one I take myself or a free to copy and use image from the internet such as this one, I crop and print to the size I want to paint i.e. 20 X 16.
Tracing a very basic outline of the painting with just enough detail to show the basic location and shape. This could be measured and drawn but it’s much faster to just trace a few basic lines.
I cover the sky area with a very thin titanium white to wet the canvas and very quickly add blue to create a sky with more life and random color by using an x shape when applying the color.
Then I add some clouds with some titanium white and a very small amount of red to start, then some gray or darker blue to build up more layers in the clouds. Working from the most distant to the closer clouds.
Using Blues and Purples I block in the mountains using a lighter blue for the Distance Mountains. At this point I am using very little detail as these are a long way off in the distance.
Using titanium white and a little blue I add the snow using a very light touch on the brush so the darker undercoat will show through, making sure the brush stroke runs downhill. Again this is in the distance so not too much detail is needed.
Adding a little green I make the first row of trees on the distant shore. Much of this will be cover by the foreground tree so very little detail appears here too.
As I work forward with the tree I add more green, darker colors, and details. The darker color brings the trees closer to the front and pushes the background back further into the painting.
The trees in the foreground use the darkest colors for the basic shape and then adding very bright highlights on top to show all the details.
Now that the base is complete I spend the rest of my time adding highlights to the foreground in this case the bottom 3rd of the painting.
Finally adding detail to the foreground water and tree shadows.