I have finished the first layer with color over the entire area of the painting. The top photo is unaltered. The bottom one is using the “auto levels” filtering feature on Fireworks. It deepens both the contrast and the color. It’s too extreme, I think, but I’m keeping it here because I think it will give me some ideas later.
For the quilt, I just wanted to capture local color. With the shapes filled in, I can begin to see the overall design. I didn’t make a lot of independent choices regarding color as I pretty much followed the photograph of my quilt.
The decision about what to put in the “empty” area above Mick’s head has remained unresolved for me, but I went ahead and plugged in my original idea which was a pretty solid color that would echo some of the colors in the quilt and bring out Mick’s eyes. At least at this stage, it seems to work. The appearance of graduating from light to slightly darker from left to right is, I think, just an artiface of the light that was falling on the painting, but I think I like it. My original thought had been to have the background darker on the left and lighter on the right to provide contrast with Mick’s head where the light is falling from the left – chiaroscuro. But I think I like this better.
I’m not sure what’s next, except some mulling time.