I was really pleased with the effect of cropping my last piece, so I decided to do it more purposefully in this next one. I took a moment to look at the pose and see what about drew me, and then focused on that. Here it was the shadow shapes in the knees and stomach. I chose to work in pastel on gessoed paper.
Pastel is much like charcoal in the fact that you first block in the shadow shapes and then define your mid tones, with the difference that you are of course also laying down the underlying colors.
Here I have layered much more color, bringing out the lights and adding the background. The value structure is still a little weak (the darks are too similar to the mid tones mainly) and I'm not very happy with the background or the arm....
So I got rid of them! I also darkened my shadows and tightened up my midtones.