Something I've found helpful for my workshop students is to show them the steps that go into a painting before I ever pick up a brush. Most are surprised at the amount of preparation I do for larger paintings.
I encountered a group of women sitting together in Charleston, SC, chatting and laughing together as they were waiting (for what, I don't know). I envisioned them as old friends who have shared countless stories of family life, man troubles, work struggles and now, as they age, health issues. I wanted to capture that comfortable, easy relationship that women have with their longtime friends.
The original image was very busy and needed changes to make a cohesive design.
I started with a black and white value sketch to find a composition that will tie the figures together.
I picked my palette of color.
I painted a small (4x6) study based on the value sketch.
I painted a larger study and worked out more details, background, color and values. If the painting works at this half size, it should work at the larger size.
The finished painting!
19 x 25"