Recently I painted out at Bartlett Lake north of Phoenix. I took some photos of the painting in progress. There are a few gaps and I wish that I had taken more photos for you, but I find that I get involved with my painting and at times forget about the steps.
The first two photos show the beginnings of the block-in stage. You can see by the variations in colors, that my block-ins record a lot of information. If I were painting studies only for myself for reference, this would be about all of the information that I might need.
I continue to add detail. You can go as far as you want with this stage. Some artists will have more detail than others. I first painted my darkest colors in the large saguaro against the light of the water. This is what I decided before I started painting that I wanted as my focal point. I kept the value contrasts from the beginning.