When making a new painting, I usually just work straight from one or two photos, making a brief sketch in chalk or pencil directly on the canvas. For my current painting (on the easel right now), I used this sketch, scanned from my current sketch book. It’s based on two photos I took several years ago of my friend, Rachel, when we were out in Pisgah Forest. We were playing with some divination deck or other (animal totem cards, perhaps?) while tucked safely away in a secret fern grove not far off the path to the top of Mt. Pisgah. The sketch shows a larger version of Rachel shuffling the deck, and a smaller version facing her, looking up the meaning in a book. The arms intertwine and get a little (purposefully) confused at the bottom.
The painting isn’t finished yet, it’s sort of dragging on and on. I’ll share it when it’s finished, hopefully in a week or two.