This is Step Six of "7 Steps of A Painting". Here are steps One: Inspiration, Two: Computer Design, Three: Value Sketch, Four: Color Studies, and Five: Drawing.
People often ask me how long it takes me to paint a portrait. They are surprised to find out that the planning and design take about twice as long as the actual painting. Having my value sketch and color study to guide me takes the guesswork out of which colors to choose or how light or dark areas should be, allowing me to paint freely and confidently. It also eliminates the question I hear in every single workshop, "what should I paint in my background?".
For this painting, I started with the figures, putting my lightest lights and darkest darks in early. As the painting progressed, I continually adjusted the values of the background so that the busy stained-glass window did not overshadow the figures.You can see that the "lights" of the window are darker than the lights on the figure. I also lowered the intensity of the colors in the window by applying washes of the the complement of each color. For instance, I applied a watery wash of green (the complement of red) over the reds to make them less intense.
Here is the finished painting, before framing.
|Disconnected, watercolor, 29 x 22"|