I was in the middle of drawing the art nouveau women of color, when I was inspired to do this particular piece. I was using tonal paper on a small sketch book. Though the pictures make this image look bigger then it is, it is only 5x7.
For some reason, I started coloring the image before inking - again. I think I was just too excited to see if I could complete a full image of color. I hadn't done so in a little while. I also started the foundation of the skin in gold. All while I was putting in the color, I was second guessing myself if the finished product was going to look like a reject from the Simpsons. It was about then when I was doing the eyes, did I realize to establish where the light was coming from for the shadow to be placed around the strands of hair. It started to get tricky around the eyelids and I was about to start all over again if I hadn't stopped and stepped back to see what I had done thus far.
I think I used about 7 different colors to get the skin right. I never thought I would ever have to use olive to tone the skin down from being too gold or too orange. It was good to know. I had made a mistake thinking I could use gray or lavender as I would for Caucasian skin. For black tones it came out ashen.
Thinking I had finished the piece, again I stepped back only to see that the fingers as well as the strap of her garment needed some shading. I also saw where the whites of her eyes are too white. I saw an artist on you-tube practically colored the whites of her subject's eyes all a light gray and then came back to put "China White" only where the light was hitting. They looked very realistic. I'll have to do some more practicing.