I liked this photo of my nephew Spencer playing the French Horn because it tells the viewer something about him.
When I decided to create a painting from this photo I realized that the French Horn dominates the picture. It is a very elegant and elaborate instrument but I want the focal point to be centered around his face with a little of the instrument so I'm going to try to fade out the lower part of the horn and make it less intrusive to the final piece. That's the plan, anyway. :)
I'm also trying to take a little more time in the planning process with the hopes of not "getting lost" during the actual painting. Here are my steps so far.
Step 1: Enlarge, crop and lighten reference photo, remove background
Step 2: Thumbnail sketch, value scale
Step 3: Played with various color combinations and then did a quick color study
Step 4: Stage 1 of the painting. He is playing at his 8th grade graduation. I want to down play his graduation gown which is burgundy and his accomplishment medals because I think it would make the painting too busy so I've grayed down his costume at this point.