step by step

Starting on a new commission!

And planning to document it from beginning to end. I kept putting if off because there is work to do before starting the act of painting but now I feel ready :) I will be working from photographs:

So, I played with different variations of the composition. I picked the first photo as the main reference and cropped it this way and that while sketching ideas of the composition. I moved the grape-vine to cover more of the face, to give it a little more playfulness.

I was still not quite sure about the composition so I decided to make a full size sketch and see how that looks:

I like the diagonal movement of the grape leaves and the overall V-shape that the direction the girl is leaning in and the grape-vine are forming. I also decided to give a little more space in the upper left area. I can always crop it if I don't like it in the end.

Of course, there are precedents of a "girl with grapes" in art history. The one I've known since art school is by Karl Brullov:

"Italian Midday" 1827. Back in the day when being plump was good.