The board was bigger than the paper so it was not until the drawing was transferred that I could start filling in the remainder of the background. Not that it has or needs to have a lot of detail. I wanted vertical lines behind her to suggest a tall space and horizontal lines out front of her to suggest a level surface for her feet to rest upon.
I meant for the two vertical shapes to be pillars, but they could be anything; a doorway, a window, curtains or banners. I was waffling on what to put in the area to her right. In one earlier sketch you can see that there was another animal briefly. I asked a friend of mine what I should put there; a burly barbarian guard, a demon, dragon? She said "a planter with palm branches."
"A Planter?!!! With Palm Branches?!!!" So I tried it and she was absolutely right it's perfect.
I then glazed over the whole thing with a thin wash of blue acrylic paint. Once that was dry I achieved many of the white highlights by scraping it with a razor blade. This gave a nice rough effect for the stone especially.
I did this intending to work over the entire piece in warmer tones of oil paint keeping the blue under-painting for all of the shadow areas. But someone saw the painting and wanted to buy it just like it was. I said "no, it isn't finished." They pulled hundred dollar bills from their pocket so I said "OK" because that's just the kind of artistic integrity I'm known for.
I did however insist that they let me do a little painting on the figure before I sent it off to them because up close it really was a little rough.