I transferred my drawing to canvas, and now I can finally start to put down some paint. It’s been months since I began to work on the set-up for this painting. Even now, I’m still in the preparatory stage! What comes next is my underpainting. I use 9 values of lead white and burnt sienna. I paint very thinly and without much detail. Everything is painted in a lighter value than what it will be in the finished painting, because the finishing colors look fresher over a lighter layer. This first layer of paint gets me painting in a very low-stress kind of way, since I don’t have to think about color or detail. Also, most of it will be covered later. It will serve as the base of the painting and will subtlety provide a consistent hue to the whole canvas. I paint carefully to preserve the detailed drawing I’ve done, but as always, each time I approach the drawing, I see corrections that need to be made. I make them here in paint instead of in pencil.

It was hard to begin. I had to adjust my brain to seeing such complex shapes. I began with the easiest-to-see bits. After an hour, I was able to go a little more quickly. Below is from my next session.

I moved to other parts of the painting after I couldn’t take painting any more small details on the basket. Below is how I left it. I still have several days left before it’s complete. When it is, I’ll let it dry for a week or so, and then onward to color.