I have to confess, the sixth Strong Women of Opera portrait, (Verdi’s Aida) went together so quickly and smoothly that I have less pictures than usual of the process!
She was a beauty from the very beginning! Note the funny smear on the right. I had an idea that her arm would be out-flung against the rock.
After two sessions of painting, this is what I had. I got on my knees beside my easel, and was trying to imitate her position. It was then that I realized how unnatural her arm was. That was a posture I could only sustain for a few seconds, and her expression belied the urgency that would make it effective.
Exit arm. I painted her hand in her lap. Her garments took an equal amount of thought and evolution. Originally, I envisioned a white, flowing robe with a colorful collar and bracelets…Then I learned that during the time the opera is set in, her dress would have been undyed linen. I am quite pleased with the result.
I re-painted the sky and deepened the shadows. Voila! In less than 9 days, working a few hours a day, Aida was completed.