Most artists understand that the first stages of a painting are not 'pretty'. At this point all I am trying to do is get a mid-tone range of values. I will go back in after things dry and punch up the darks and highlights, but there will probably be another stage of corrections before that. Right now it is at a very abstract stage and I have a better reference for details once the bike and myself are all blocked in.
When I paint I keep in mind that the optimal distance for viewing is 3 times the width of the canvas, which is right about at 5 foot. So what may appear abstract in a close up view will gel quite differently at that distance. The view you are seeing in this photo is from about two feet away. The background is also not quite the stark white as it is in real life, it's a little easier on the eyes grayed out a bit.
I'd hoped to get the whole bike blocked in today but it seems the new year has brought a cold to me (I'm still functional, Chopper is laid out with his) and I didn't want to push it. I'm hoping I feel up to another session tomorrow. Just keep in mind that there will be a lot of changes between this and the final painting :)