I've been hunkered down with this piece for the past three weeks. I first built a composition with natural light, photographed, and printed out various tonal arrangements to help me set values. With the exception of titanium white and ultramarine blue mixed with burnt umber for the deepest shadow, the oil-based pigments are earths--ochres, umbers and green earth.
After the first week or so I might have stopped. Rather, each evening I'd poke about with new ideas. Curiously, a change in one spot might reverberate calling for updates in other areas. An often felt example was that of making a change on a single clove in that bulb of garlic and how it would disturb the overall form of the bulb. All in all, just a wonderful learning experience.
The surface is very shiny at this point, making it tough to photograph. I took advantage of filtered overcast sky to work around the glare and this photo is reasonably close, albeit with a bit of value and hue shifts.