Easy as 1 - 2 - 3

OK, maybe not that easy, but I do try and keep it simple in the beginning. The following is what has occupied my last two evenings.

Here you can still see some of my sketchy charcoal lines in the headdress. I started off by enveloping the figure with the almost black background, the mask, and painting in the totally black thin feathers. For some reason I decided not to dilute with OMS as I usually do, (OK, I have a reason, I want the final product to have thicker paint) so this all took about 50 times longer than it usually does. My hand was a bit cramped after that, so I decided to dilute a little bit when I got to the figure, saving the places with more detail like the face, hands, and headdress for the next session.

The first thing I did last night was model the arms a bit more and break up the warm tone of the chest a bit. Then I moved on to the face and hands, trying not to create a forced expression. It was all done with my smallest brushes as these areas on the painting are only a few inches wide. The painting is on a 16" x 12" panel.

For the apple and headdress, I got a completely different palette because there is so much variety in the colors in those areas and I had no more room on the flesh-tone palette. This will help me keep my colors clean as I progress, too. The headdress will get a lot more detail as time goes on; there are a few speckled feathers and lots of wisps from the peacock feathers that were impossible to add at this stage.

So there you have it; two evenings at the Lewis Studio!