Today was my third portrait sitting with Judy. Prior to it I had spent a lot of time painting her costume as well as considering what to do with the background.
As can be seen if you compare this with my previous blog, I have begun to paint her headdress and necklace in much greater detail. Each particular section (e.g. orange) I painted in a slightly darker tone . With a fine sable, I then outlined the rows of beads . Then it was time to apply a mid tone , before flicking in little pinpoints of light. My original dark tone acts as the shadow area between the beads. All that remains, when this is dry, is to indicate individual shadows on the beads. The triangular metal piece on her head dress (which indicates she is a married woman) still requires some light, shade and reflection to be added. The white strings are simply blocked in at the moment and also need a bit more definition and shadow.
A close up detail of her necklace illustrating the technique described above.
I have also been working on other areas of the costume, and blocking in the large patterns. It is indeed time consuming but there is no way it can be rushed. With her cloak, I am beginning to suggest the folds and creases. These will have to be completed before I superimpose patterns of little black dots.
I have also added at this stage a very colourful bangle and belt.
During our sitting today, I focused on her face, looking at the cool bluish reflection on the left, trying to correct the modelling in her neck, chin and around her mouth. The hair had to be adjusted also.
The background I have also started. Initially, I thought of a bold bright colour like pale blue. But i have now decided to apply gold instead, with all its connotations. The photograph, however, does not convey the richness of it.
This is how the portrait now looks at the end of the third sitting.
Keep watching my blog to see how the painting develops and how it looks when completed.