I began this copy of Holbein’s portrait of Sir Brian Tuke with an under painting in grisaille of green umber.
As I examine the print I can see that perhaps Holbein used a warmish red color under the darker background color. The same for coat and hat. This examination of the color is the ‘dead color’ layer.
Once the dead color layer is finished, I concentrate on finishing the background, clothing and hat.
Then I begin with the dead color on the flesh. Starting with the shadows and stating them as accurately as I am able. Once the shadows are put in, I can then begin putting in the lights.
Working back and forth between the shadows and lights I am able to correct the drawing mistakes and make adjustments to the values. Taking care not to alter the shadow color, keeping the shadows painted a thinly as possible.
Holbein’s portrait “A Lady with Squirrel and a Starling” was next.