The piece of steel in the photo is about 3 inches across. I ground the paint away so an arc can start easily. The arrows were made with a felt tip pen. This Instructable will show how to start an arc in the center area between the four arrows.
The portion with paint removed at the lower right corner of the photo is only a place to attach the welder's ground clamp.
Step 1: Prepare and positon a carbon rod
Touch the tip of the carbon rod to the steel just behind the point where the bead is to begin. Be sure to wear welder's gloves.