Surprise! In the reference photo, Rose is sitting among some grapevines, and it was time to get those started. I could just let the paint fly, “wingin’ it” and putting leaves everywhere; from prior experience, however, I tend to go wild and cover too much. I wanted to preserve some of the background/spacing, so wanted a more precise idea where the leaves are. This meant pruning away pretty much half of the leaves that are in the photo, but a common plea in painting is: “Don’t Paint Everything, for Gosh Sakes!”
Anyhoo, I took a piece of acetate, laid it over the painting, and drew with a sharpie the approximation of where I wanted leaves and where I wanted space. After that I covered the back of some tracing paper with white pastel, laid it between painting and drawing, and then traced my drawing on top of the painting. Now I had pastel all over everything, but it comes off with a swipe of a towel.
This is my first shot. I will expand the grapes leaves a bit and lighten them a bit more. (As I sit here, I’m watching my first run darken. The annoying part of acrylics.)
Down the line I’ll develop all kinds of confidence, I’m sure, and I’ll feel less compelled to draw things out first. This wasn’t the hardest part, though… It will take double the courage to move onto her likeness and dark skin. I’ll have to channel a stubborn mule when I go there….tomorrow. I’ll be thinking: “By Hook Or Crook, This Paint Will Go On, And It Will Look Like Rose.”