Now I have the first layer of softer pastels – Rembrandts – on the painting.
The brown background is richer looking because of the softer pastels laying down more pigment.
I spent quite a bit of time fussing over the fur. Generally speaking, I’m happy with the texture I’ve achieved. But the rump looks flat so I’ll have to spend more time rounding it out.
I added a fold to the blanket to the left and behind her and also added a few folds to the blue blanket. With that and the texture in the fur on her rump and tail I’m no longer worried about the left part of the painting being uninteresting.
I did quite a bit of layering color until I was happy with the blue blanket. At first it was too bright, so I layered gray blue and gray green Giraults to dull it and give it closer to a turquoise cast. I put a bit of the blue on Fiona’s shadow side. This would be a reflection from the blanket, but it’s importance is to integrate the blanket color into the rest of the painting.
To emphasize the satiny look of the ribbon, I increased the contrast between shadows and highlights, using actual white on the brightest of them. I glazed a bit of Burnt Sienna over the deepest shadow areas of the peach blanket. But I’m waiting for new Girault pastels I ordered to finish the blanket. At this point, it looks a bit too dull.
The background is almost too bright. I’m not going to do anything about it, though, until I’ve finished the peach blanket because I think that will change the overall look.
So far, so good. I’m happy with it.