There is nothing like spending days and days getting set up. I'm attempting to be very particular in this since I want the painting party days to go well. Choosing the outfit for the model first off presented a couple of problems. It is a dark fabric with lots of small designs printed all over it in gold. What does that go with? How should a background look for something like this? Finding the red scarf for the headgear (matching the red in the skirt) only added to the dilemma. Fortunately I have a nice stash of fabrics which I've collected over the years. I pulled out everything.
I spent two days just hanging the stuff around the studio to see how it all looked in different lights. Do I want strong directional light? Soft diffused light? Natural light? What??? I began to layer stuff just to see what happened and suddenly it began to come together. I then spent two days layering and relayering. I ironed out wrinkles in some and allowed wrinkles to remain in others. I was blessing myself for buying that photo backdrop stand once again, though. It makes life so much easier. I began, finally to put darker layers at the bottom and gradually layer lighter toward the top. Ok. Another two hours redraping but now I think I might have the right effect. I'll know in another week, just before the model arrives.
And what do I place her on? A chair? A couch? On the floor? Facing which way? Looking up, down, sad, happy, pensive? What is this painting going to say?
Heck with it. It is just supposed to be a couple of days painting for the fun of it. I can over analyze ad nauseum and that in itself gets nauseating.
Oh wait, a prop...a plant stand with a silver candle holder on it? An actual plant? A bowl of Chili?...