I have been working all Summer to get ready for the show in Princeton. While I did record images as I went along, I didn't take the time to post, so I will have lots of material to share over the long, cold Winter!
One BIG change I had to make in my process --- the use of "readers" for the detail work. It was one of those things where you don't realize how much you are struggling to focus until one day (when nobody was looking) I tried on my husband's readers, and BEHOLD! a new, clearer world!
Really, it wasn't that dramatic, but painting the eyes and small details is one of my favorite parts of a portrait. Seeing the magnified image helps me to "get inside" and focus on the detail. I have always used a craft lamp with a magnifier, but the glasses made a great difference. ( I have ALWAYS celebrated "accumulated mileage", only now I am having to use the accessories, and it sneaked up on me!)
This painting, "I BELIEVE I can Fly!" makes me happy. I hope this transfers to the viewers when it's done. I used several photo references, but the end result is a happy child totally from my imagination. The hands supporting her are a big part of the story, and the viewer can make up their own story.
I went through several pencil versions trying to decide the expression: eyes open, closed, looking up, etc. I settled on this expression because of the eye contact. I think her serene expression says, "I BELIEVE I CAN FLY!" :)
I think it is important to share our process with others, just as we gain from watching other artists work.