1. I see the finished piece of art in my head and then I create that piece of art in real life.
The way I created this painting:
2. I start doodling and continue doodling until a piece of art is finished.
The way I created this drawing.
Generally with a doodle I do it piece by piece over a long period of time. I spend a long time on doodles because I often stop to look at the piece and contemplate where I should go next. I walk around and view it from different angles and distances to try and get an understanding of the piece as a whole. I often times get "artist's block" or simply get burned out and walk away from the piece for days or weeks. Sometimes I never finish them. Most of my doodles end up being abstract or psychedelic.
My more realistic pieces usually start as a picture in my head. The picture is usually complete or nearly complete and I usually have a very defined view of exactly how they will turn out. I have such a defined view of how these pieces will turn out that I often get frustrated if people comment on them before they are finished.
This particular painting is something I would call a doodle. It's been years since I painted a doodle. Usually I draw them. The closest I've come to painting a doodle since high school is painting our band practice room wall with flourescent puff paints a couple of years ago (for a black light). I was just so busy with music while I was in college and while I was teaching that I never had time to paint.
Definitely not finished yet. I still have quite a bit to do before I will be at a stopping point.