Today I worked on my painting study for the Christ Child for my Madonna and Child project. Here's what I have now:
I'm focusing in this study on painting the child's face, though I did apply a layer of paint to the whole surface of the paper. Once I let this dry, I want to experiment with applying another layer of paint over the child-- that is why I left the image of him nearly monochromatic and haven't fully developed the range of values. When I've painted, I have had a tendency not to paint in layers so much, but it's something I'd like to explore further.
If the blanket the child is wrapped in looks a little awkward it's because I made it up more or less without a reference from life or a mannequin. In the final painting the Virgin Mary's hand will be covering much of the Christ Child's body so I'm hoping that this factor along with me tweaking the image until it seems natural and well integrated will eliminate or at the very least reduce to a minimum any awkwardness in this area.
Again, the purpose of this study is to practice painting off of a reference drawing. (As usually when I've painted people in college, it was directly from a live model before me). It takes a lot less time and is much less involved to draw someone from life than to paint them from life (particularly if you are not in your studio and just have your traveling sketchbook). To be able to make paintings based off of reference drawings really opens up a lot of possibilities and provides flexibility for me.