I often like to paint the backgrounds of my paintings first. Backgrounds are often the largest washes, and if I mess it up, I do it right from the start. It also helps me to establish a beginning value range.
Here I have mixed New Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, and Quin. Gold in a very big, wet puddle. I applied this mixture as a very wet, juicy, flat wash. I used a one-inch flat and held the brush straight up and down to paint around to top of Scooter’s head.
The more you practice handing your brushes, the more efficiently you will find you can use them. Always use the largest brush you can get away with. Avoid the tiny little brushes until you absolutely must use them for the tiny details at the very end of your piece.