Julie in Wrap (Oil on gessoed illustration board, 15x20").
I had a photoshoot with Julie to collect the reference. I then added two layers of gesso to 100.3 cold-press Crescent illustration board. I enjoy using illustration board. It provides a smooth surface without getting overly slick like Masonite. However, it can absorb paint at a medium pace that leaves the previous day's paint a little tacky as opposed to completely dry or wet. It can be difficult to work with tacky paint. To overcome this, I added Liquin to my mixtures to give them some fluidity.
I freehanded the drawing on the board in pencil.
I'm taking a class called "Painting the Masters" (see an earlier post) where I paint copies of existing works. The three master studies I've done thus far have influenced me greatly on this painting. I freely put in the background and had it overlap parts of the foreground knowing that I could work back into it to create some effects. I also put the hair in loosely similar to Schmid's Sapphire painting. For flesh-tone contrast, I thought of Chase's Spanish Girl, where the lightest flesh tones are composed of a ton of white with just a hint of color.
Normally I bounce around a painting, but this time I started from the face and worked largely downward.
This is the background I started with, and while I loved parts of it, I don't know if it was as effective as it could have been. I added too much Naples yellow in the mix for some parts, which created rather listless and dull patches. I also worried about the contrast. I wanted her to feel more enveloped in the painting, so I painted the more swirling background above. I do like the turbulence of the background below. I'm sure I'll still change it again. Backgrounds are always a struggle for me.