The first stage of a classical painting is the underpainting. It is monochromatic, with a great deal of attention to accurate rendering of values. I did this one on wood panel, gessoed and then scumbled with raw umber and Odourless Mineral Spirits. Umbers are a good choice because the paint doesn’t contain a lot of oil, and therefore dries quickly. The drawing is then wiped down for lightening and darkened with additional paint. Stay tuned for stage two!