I chose a photo of an old barn in Tennessee. I have a fascination with old, abandoned buildings and barns, so this was an easy choice. Aside from the appealing subject matter, the image, with its layers of hills in the distance, was a good example of aerial perspective [by which elements will become cooler and greyer in color as they recede from the viewer's position].
Photo was cropped to a 9x12" scale, and I chose to keep the barn the prominent feature (not just the focal point) in the picture. The Colourfix paper I used has a rough surface that doesn't allow for precise and small detail to be added, so that was another good reason to keep the barn a bit bigger.
I used pastels of different values to lightly block in the main shapes of the sky, hills, trees, barn and foreground. Using a small wash brush and rubbing alcohol, I then painted them quickly into simple shapes into the paper. Rubbing alcohol is great because it dries quickly and does a good job of spreading the pastel pigment onto the paper.
Here are the two paintings for comparison:
"Summer Comes to the Old Barn" - pastel
$85 ppd, ready to frame