I thought I'd share some progress pics on a recent painting. I actually have an inspired thumbnail here that I was pretty happy with on the first doodle. It's a rare thing. I would always suggest doing extra thumbnails just to flesh out ideas but I had a pretty good idea how I wanted this to look and decided to roll with it.
Originally I was thinking ethereal white dress. But then I thought pink could be interesting. I was on the line about the color choice but throughout the day I had received several signs that lead me to my decision: Pink bicycle frame with gray tires, grey shoes with pink laces etc. When I'm unable to see the signs like this I toss chicken bones to help me in my decision making. If you're vegan carrot bones work just as well.
I loosely transfer my sketch onto the paper with a light table. Using my photo reference(get a friend or family member) I refine my drawing trying not to lose the integrity of my sketch too much. It's a careful balance of my natural stylization in the sketch and the information of the photo ref. I try to leave some areas not so tied down in the drawing stage in order to have room for some spontaneous goodness. A little shading in graphite then I start laying in thin washes of acrylic. It's a slow process but it gives me results that I'm pretty happy with.