There are a number of different ways to begin a painting and I have not settled on any one in particular. This self portrait is painted over another painting so I was unable to begin with a pencil sketch. I did however start with an oil sketch to map out the shape of the head and neckline. I chose a green colour for this simply because I knew it would show up well over the dark orange painting. Then I massed in a few shadow shapes and lit planes.
For this portrait I am not working from a photo but from life with a mirror. The challenge with this is holding and returning to the correct pose which I think will become even more difficult as I progress through the painting.
This is the first stage of a work in progress.