It started out like any other painting, work out the drawing and composition. Transfer the drawing to the w/c paper. I laid down a wash of cerulean blue over everything but the face. The idea being I wanted the face to have the whitest whites and most contrast.
Started with viridian green and burnt sienna for the skin tones and added some cobalt blue and quin red while still wet. Looking good so far.
Face is coming along. Developing warm and cool areas and starting in on the beard.
Finished up the figure and started in on the background. This is where things start to go wrong. The background looks busy, particularly the right side where the edges are too hard and the color is too bright. Hmmm... no problem. I'll just tone it down.
Added a darker wash and made the background a nice, muddy blob. I liked it better before, but too late. The next two days (seriously!) were spent going over and over the background. Eventually I ended up cutting out the figure and painted a series of new backgrounds, laying the figure on top to see how it would look. Finally settled on a new direction for the painting and started all over again.
This time I changed the angle of the figure and decided to crop him differently.
Once I had the figure painted I worked on a loose background that worked with the direction of his gaze. Done! All that's left is to go have a nice glass of wine!