I think I have spent enough time on the underpainting and decided to move ahead with the color application. This time I have skipped the dead layer (a monochromatic black and white layer), since I need a warm glow to show through and compliment the cool blues. This is for me the stage when a painting looks it's ugliest, with the underpainting showing and a hodge podge of colors that are not quiet relating to each other as of yet, it is hard to imagine that this will all eventually start to harmonize.
Starting with the largest areas first, the Umber background received a mix of Prussian Blue and Alizarin Crimson. A uniform background is boring, therefore I don't mix huge batches, but prefer to have some slight variation of the color mix. I have not gone as dark in the values yet either, because it is too early and I need room to adjust the values by one or two degrees.
Matching the colors of the hair, outfit, etc. as I perceived them to look on my reference came next. I like to cover the canvas with as much paint as possible. This is necessary to see how each color relates to it's surrounding color.
Since I established form during the Underpainting stage, every stage of laying down colour requires that the values choosen either improve or stay very close to the underpainting (squinting helps). Regardless if the chosen colors are off, the important thing to always keep in mind is that the values have to be correct for the painting to read as it should.
Eventhough the painting looks a bit clownish (some colours manages to be too intense!) remember that painting is a process of working from the general to the specifics. There is going to be a lot of tweaking in the days to come!
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