Arminta — what to wear . . . what to wear. In the original photograph, she has on a fitted jacket with a lace collar — very intricate. I had to be more simple. I decided to go with emerald green — I’ve been working with a lot of blue lately and wanted a change.

This is the first value.

When you see the second value and compare this picture to the one above it, you can see I made a mistake in my cutting. Given my limited supply of this fabric, I laid some additional pieces underneath. These seams will require some extra stitching to cover them but because I will match the thread to the fabric, they won’t be noticeable in the final piece.

The third value shows the curve of the collar.

And the fourth value fills in the rest of the shape except for the deepest shadows.

It is at this point I realize that I have to complete her collar before I can add the final dark green — which you see here — values of white into gray.

And here you see the final green. (This is the first picture taken vertically. All of the previous pictures were taken horizontally and suffer from some distortion.)

With the collar done, it was time to start thinking about the background. I spent a lot of time on this part — which sounds strange given how simple it is. I tried to create a halo effect similar to the one in the original photograph — and it just didn’t look right — no matter what color range I was using. My husband finally told me that it was distracting from Arminta — it made the eye want to look elsewhere.

I don’t ever want the background to be an after-thought — something added that doesn’t add to the final piece — but I’ve decided that for many portraits, the purpose of the background is to not distract. Although the Amelia Earhart piece has a plane in the background, it is not always advantageous to start adding extraneous information into the background of a portrait for the portrait to be successful.

The jacket at this point bothered me. I realized that she needed the definition of her sleeves so I sketched up a quick change on my pattern.