I finished Esther today. I've documented the first part of the process in an earlier post if you're interested in the nuts and bolts. Here is the second half.
I started with a rough sketch on canvas:
Then did a very fast, loose painting with the intention of just getting color all over the canvas. At this point, it looks nothing like Esther. Not sure why I didn't get a shot of the whole thing.
Next, I spent ALOT of time on the face. I wanted to get it right first, because if you can get the face right, the rest of the stuff is pretty much a breeze. Here's a closeup of the face at this stage.
Next I reworked every bit of the canvas with a palette knife. I really glopped on paint here. I tried to bring out more depth and warmth to her face. Although I captured her pretty well, she looked pasty and cool.
A face closeup:
The table looked odd to me, so I added some color to it, and touched up a few final things. Like, the lemon now looks more like a lemon, and her arms look a little more natural. This is the finished canvas!
Here is a closeup of the finished hat.
And her face! Esther, you are a beautiful little girl!