In my opinion, the most magical moment of a painting is when after the initial sketch I put the first blocks of colors. I love seeing how shapes and volume start appearing without the constraint of accuracy. A moment of complete freedom. I am not worried about the future, of how the painting is going to look, I am just in total communion with each brushstokes. That is probably one of the reasons why I enjoy working alla prima so much, because it is like floating in this stage for 2-5 hours. Then that bliss is followed by the moment of questioning each brushstoke, revising the drawing, making corrections, making decisions. In a way it seems I start a painting with my right brain before calling an audience with the left one, from the ultra expressive to the analytical one.
Even when this second stage does not sound as fun, I have to admit that dealing with it has taught me great lessons is life, including that sometimes mistakes are OK, and that almost everything can be fixed (as long as it has a good foundation). To remind me how I sail between these two shores I have started taking progression shots of my work. Here are a couple of examples. One is a still life that I am still working on and the other one a 3-hour charcoal drawing.