During my egg tempera workshop, I spent hours developing the background for my egg and stone painting. It was coming along so nicely with rich color and luminosity. I was polishing lightly with cheesecloth every few layers and noticed that I wore down close to the gesso base in the center of the board. Koo mentioned that I probably didn't have enough pigment--sure enough, as I worked radially to the center I was putting down fewer layers. So then I tried to build it all back up and did so rather quickly. As usual, moving too fast with egg tempera set me way back. I never did get back that wonderful background.
Today I began an attempt to capture that depth and luminosity. This first image with camera doesn't do justice--I had a hard time getting away from glare.
This second image was off the scanner bed, a few hours later than the image above. There must be close to thirty layers here. I'll be pushing the darks down a bit more.
I've tentatively planned a lily for the foreground. This week I'll be working on sketches and planning the composition and will adjust the highlighted center accordingly. Today's work was so meditative. No rushing, just a steady mixing of various pigments and gently applying well-thinnned layers.