Maya. 16x20, oil on linen. 2014.
I used the client's own photos to paint this portrait of Maya. What made the whole thing click was the abstract sense in which there's a cool shadow area in front of a warmly lit background.
Since the original photo was taken using a cellphone I struggled to get the right colors in both the shadow and lit areas - I did a small study of the entire painting beforehand to try out some different combinations. In the final painting most of these were changed significantly, but going through this process before starting the actual painting helps a great deal.
I started with a simple block in and once that was dry I painted her head, then the body, the grass, the sky and the sea working in a general order of priorities.