After some deliberation, I added soft messy bangs to the woman's hairstyle. Changing
the original style shown on the reference photo had changed the face, making it appear
too long for the client’s liking. Adding bangs fixed the problem. I also added a
ring to her finger, featuring the kanji character for joy (“yorokobi”).
When the drawing was finished, I taped it face down to my working surface - an illustration
board pretreated with three coats of gesso, and with a masking tape added to create
a 1" border. This painting was done on Crescent heavyweight 40-ply cold-pressed illustration
board, but, unfortunately, it looks like it might have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Crescent 110 board is a good alternative, as is Ampersand’s Gessobord if you don’t
want a surface that’s ready to use.
I went over the lines with a 2H pencil, pressing carefully but firmly enough so that
the graphite lines would transfer onto the board. Some people seem to think this
is a no-no because the graphite will mix with paint and make it muddy. But it shouldn't
be a problem if you apply yet another (very thin) layer of gesso over the linework.
should be thin enough to let the lines show through, but thick enough to cover and
bind the graphite. The surface is smudge-free afterwards.