I took this photo of a winter sunset on my street last year, and this winter I’m turning it into an oil painting. All year round when I’m out walking I take photos of trees, sky, buildings, street scenes, or other subjects that I think I might want to paint someday. I try to take a few photos with slightly different angles and lighting. I dislike exactly copying a photo when I paint, so having a few different images to work from allows me to extrapolate and get the feeling of the scene while helping free me up from trying to create an exact copy.
I’ve still got a ways to go with this one–I’m stuck at that point where I have to decide whether to go for a lot more detail or a lot less detail. And I need to darken up the buildings and create more contrast. But I love the colors, and I just bought a tube of this gorgeous purple which (mixed with a lot of other things) is perfect for the snow on the roof. And it makes me happy.