I love the subject of kids reading.  It is the perfect symbol of imagination.  My stockpile of reference material on the subject is huge.  So, whenever I find myself between projects or in negotiations for a commission, It’s only natural that I fall back on this theme.  I spent a couple of days playing around with this scrap of my oldest daughter reading on a rock.  I love the pose, and the lighting is so ambiguous as to allow for anything in the background, as long at the value key is dark.  So, I’m going to place her under a magnificent sky dominated by the milky way.  If I can figure out how to make it work, I’m thinking I’ll paint stars originating from the pages of the book, filling the starscape in the background.  The allegory, of course, is that entire galaxies can be contained in the pages of a good book.

Here is a photo of the 18×24 inch aluminum composite panel with my drawing transferred over and ready to paint.

I’m going to start with a monochromatic underpainting, and purposefully adjust the values darker so that the stars emanating from the book will have some room to shine.