The main point of this post is to tell you to take lots of photos
of any scene you may want to paint. Take a long shot, take
close up shots, take pictures of what is around the main subject.
You may want to paint something that is essentially a long
shot in a photograph, but if you don't shoot up close, you may
not have enough data.
I didn't post all the photos I took of this wonderful stone
barn, but I hope you get the idea.
The other thing about close up and far away shots is that
sometimes you can't see what is in the shadow areas if you
have a shot with a lot of light colored area like sky. That closes
down your lens (if you are shooting on automatic) and then
the shadow areas will look practically black. If you shoot some
close ups, then the camera lens opens up and allows you to see
what is in those shadow areas.
I hope this helps!