I just sold this commission. Abbey loved to help her mom do puzzles. I love the humor of “helping” with the puzzle, the personal history that made it special to her mom, the sunlight, her dynamic position, and the overall composition.
My first try on this painting, I used Indigo as my blue, and I had so much trouble; that and Payne’s Grey lift so easily they are impossible to work with when it comes to details. For this take, I went back to my old standby, Ultramarine. Mix that with Burnt Umber and you are good to go for light or dark greys, blacks, or blues.
The other problem I originally had was that the photo was overexposed, with her face in darkness and her stomach and the puzzle totally washed out. But I loved the photo, so I ran it through Photoshop on AutoFix about five times until it looked like I could work with it.