Ten years ago my husband and I went on a photo shoot. It was his first time capturing scenes for me to paint and he became so enamored of a stream rushing over rocks that he stood in the middle of the stream to get a shot for a painting he called "A Boulder View." At the time, I painted it mostly for him but today I will use it as reference to paint the scene again, without the huge boulder in the foreground. Painting a small study first works well for me. Here is a photo of the 6x4 study on my easel with the big painting in the background.