I usually have a fairly clear image in my head of where I want a painting to go. Of course, there are days when I stand in front of the canvas and say to myself, "How do I do this?" How do I make the skin tones appear real? What combination of paint colors? Is there a blue undertone? What shape and size brush? Sometimes getting it right surprises me. Other days I paint for hours, overdo it, then take turp and a rag and wipe most of it off. Figurative painting is hard.
I have spent a good deal of time in the last week or two working on Hannah (the figure on the left in the raven mask) and on Syd (the girl in the gazebo with the winged helmet). I have been putting off working on Allison (the figure with the seagull) because I am nervous about working on her skirt. I love the way the drawing of the skirt billows and flows and I don't want to lose that effect. And it will be quite red, dead center.
My current decision is where to extend or cut off the edges of this painting. The original bottom of the painting stopped at the flamingo's belly and Syd's knees. I keep visualizing it extended so you see more of the girls' legs and a bit of the flamingo's legs too. So I've sketched some of that in. I left plenty of extra canvas on all sides so that stretching it shouldn't be an issue.