Next to having all your supplies, knowing what you will paint is important, so I’m going to break this second point into a few points in itself. (Of course, this subject is much more complex than just a few points.) Additionally, I find that once I get one idea of something to paint–I get 10 more ideas! So I always keep a list of “To Paint.” That way, when inspiration is lacking–I can turn to this list and not be lost.
While you’re just beginning, and even if you’re not beginning and it’s just what you like, you don’t need elaborate subject matter full of meaning and intrigue. Don’t be shy of painting something simple. If a single object such as a lemon or apple is what you wish to paint–paint away! You can make it beautiful no matter what. Be clever. However, if super simple subject matter, like a single apple, isn’t your thing, maybe try a basket of apples. Simple can mean a few objects or one face. Don’t start with something overly ambitious like a multi-figure painting, a huge still life with every fruit imaginable in it, or a city scene next to a creek with a million trees and a few little fishermen waving to their wives and children who are flying kites. Keep it simple. Simple enough.