Stage One Painting: After the sketches were tweaked the first layers went in. A two-tone wash then custom colored modeling paste through a stencil (acanthus on the right) and the base coat of pear yellow modeling paste through the part of the sketch I cut out. Hey! It's the digital age. Why do I have to keep the paper sketch?
You will see some shadowing across the pear and into the fleur-d-lis. This is not a paint effect. It is the shadow of the cat's ears. He could not be persuaded to share the good natural light or leave me with more room to work than the 4x4 canvas I am working on. Oddly enough though, I believe that shadow makes a more dynamic presentation. So as I contemplate the next step I will keep that in mind.
OBSERVATION: This is a critical step in the creative process. I know there are other elements that I want to bring into the painting. This will require some thought and a little planning. My process is not to work everything out in a thumbnail like many artists do. I let moments and inspiration finish the details after I have settled on a rough outline of what I want to achieve.
This is a slower process. In the end though I think it the best way for me to work. It forces me to narrow my field instead of roaming aroung the studio for this or that. It also forces me to work out the details with some custom work instead of relying on someone else to provide something for me to incorporate into it. Makes it more me. At least it makes it more authentically me.