I am still in early stages. I have been drawing in the vine, starting to refine her skin and working out values (how dark and light I want to go.)
I think that is how dark I want the background, but I plan on more glazing to alter the colour. I gessoed the background with transparent gesso and only a single coat of white gesso behind the figure. I don't really like it. I feel like I am fighting with the wood panel to cover it. I prefer several coats of the white gesso, at least under the figure.
I have lost my interest in letting the wood grain show through.
Here is the other painting that I have been working on.
I am much preferring the texture of this one. It is painted over an old painting so there are several layers of oil paint underneath. If you want to see how I started it you can return to that same post.
I have been glazing the background to get it darker and richer. Again, I was trying out my darks and lights to get a feeling for the tones. Initially they are a bit harsh, but that is giving me a sense of my range. Later I will can put in more transitions to make it more subtle.
I am constantly reassessing the painting, looking at it as an entire piece and seeing what it needs. At any point I am willing to redraw and change.
With this last step I decided the painting wasn't having the feeling that I wanted. The vine was looking too incidental, as if it was just looped around her neck like a kind of necklace.So I went back to my reference photos. I wanted more vine, for the viewer not to know whether she was wearing the vine or it was growing up and and over her.
I prefer the mood now, and I also think it is a more interesting composition.