The portrait of Darcy began with the collection of reference photographs of the pose, piano, parakeet and other things dear to her. Next was to arrange all in a composition that gave the feel of her wonderful character. She is a beautiful person of grace and sophistication. She also grew up in Illinois in a very rural setting. I really wanted to work within a square format, so divided the space in a way that I hoped would make a solid and satisfying design, lending the sense of grace and sophistication. Once she approved the sketch, I moved to a very crude color indication of how I wanted the color masses to be arranged.
Once approved, I moved to the final 24×24″ painting taking great care with the likeness, but moving freely within the bounds of my sketch template on the canvas with the landscape, piano, flowers and carpet to give a pleasurable painterly feel.