This is the composition drafted up on the primed board. I used a thirds composition technique to ensure the subjects were squared up properly and well proportioned. I am really happy with the layout, there are some nice diagonals in the hands and arms and a tight cohesiveness between them. I think there will be a nice dynamic in this portrait.

As you can see I decided not to use a transfer technique or a pouncebag which would have been period but I wanted to tweak the composition on the board to get the right sizing. Charcoal is period too! Then it was fixed (in period it would have been varnished over but I wasn’t sure if the varnishes I had could cope with so many layers so I used a spray fix. as an aside I think charcoal on primed board was a lot of fun – I think I should play with it more at another time.

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