One of the best ways to get started painting is to draw or sketch. Sketch ideas. Sketch simple compositions. Draw often. Do simple studies of the same composition but make slight adjustments to try out different versions. Try five or six different variations. This will help you find the best solution, the strongest composition. It will be helpful later to use it as the reminder for your painting. Decide what would be the best medium to capture your subject. Decide on size and medium. It is often a good idea to take the sketch a step further and try it in some different colors. Try colors that you haven’t worked in before. Step back and look at it fresh and now decide if you are going to do a larger painting of your subject. Then jump in and PAINT WILDLY! This is the best way to find surprises and do something different than you’ve ever done before. Try out a new color, a different brush. Work differently. Do less thinking and more feeling.