After the decision was made to rethink the orientation of the photo of Autumn and make the final painting vertical, I took the image into Photoshop and began refining the composition.
I wanted to make the focal point of the portrait her face. I decided to bring her her up close and crop out the distractions–things like the chair and most of the table. Doing so brought attention to her face, but her hands still wanted to dominate. Cropping the hands, and moving them slightly improved the composition, and accomplished even more in that it was a way to frame Autumn's face.
I did a complete underpainting in shades of gold and a deep purple color. This helped build values and gave a warm glow to the final painting.
As you can see here, I changed the table and added the paper with handprints. In the snapshot they are not present, but I felt including them better communicates why her hands have paint on them and completes that thought. It also adds another set of angular lines for interest.
I should also mention that I also gave a tilt to everything. The tilt gives more youthful energy to the painting too.
I then started building the final color passes on top of the underpainting. Painting the wet paint was fun and challenging.
I changed the color on the collar of her shirt from pink to purple–Autumn's favorite color.
My next post will show you the completed painting. Until then...