The First Steps toward "The Key"

I am currently working on a new series of pieces and I wanted to show you the first steps of my process.

1.  Draw image onto canvas and set by spraying with workable fixative, normally I would gesso and sand my canvas before this step but I am trying a different approach for this painting as you will see in step 2.

2.  This approach to gessoing is different that my usual approach, typically I cover the entire image but I wanted to experiment with having different densities of paint for atmosphere and depth so I applied gesso only to the key fixtures in the painting and left the negative space blank to absorb the paint more. 

3.  In Photoshop I do a quick color sketch to determine what type of color pallet I would like for this piece.

4. I set up a small set using paper and a Ball Jointed Doll model. This is for me to map out shadows and tones.

                

 

5. The next steps are slowly layering paint onto the canvas from darks to lights till you get the final product!