Once my composition was planned out, I drew up a refined line drawing of the main subjects. Afterwards, I went ahead and blocked in the color scheme and the lighting (Fig.03 - 04). At this point I knew that I wanted her dress to remain a deep purple color with a slight satin feel. The purple hue was chosen because it originally reminded me of a bright threat display; similar to various poisonous animals that warn off danger (fitting I thought). Her skin was initially intended to be pale, but since she was positioned amongst cooler surroundings, a warmer skin tone broke up the color temperatures nicely. The flooring was made out of stone consisting of a light green and brown to complement the dominant colors and serve as an afterthought to the main focus of the image.
Technique & Finer Details
As a general rule for myself, I constantly flip my images horizontally back and forth throughout the entire painting process. It helps me get a fresh look at my image and reveals any flaws or imbalances that may show up.
So from here on out I focused on blending the colors and refining the rest of the details. Because I wanted the fabric to have a slightly thicker feel than silk, I blended the shades of the folds (Fig.05a - 05b) using a basic Hard brush with varying levels of Opacity. For the intricate details on the white flounces I designed a custom pattern. Next, I copied and placed my new pattern into the positions that I wanted along the fabric. Using the different Transform tools I experimented with shaping and cutting the design in accordance to the lay of the material. Next I merged all of the separate patterns onto one layer and then made a Clipping Mask layer above it. With the Clipping Mask, it was easier to paint within the designs and blend them in with the folds and shadows of the frills (Fig.06a - 06c).