I think this is going to need another layer, and even so it’s not a good likeness. But I feel I have made some progress in thinking in shapes and colours, instead of lines and volumes. And it was fairly quickly done: and hour and a half from sketch to the current state:
I was obviously inspired by those images of Rembrandt’s, of his reading mother, and Durer’s ditto. I have cropped the image, there’s a sketch of a book, too. Irina posed for me; I succeeded in rendering someone who might be related, but who’s at least forty years older and has a quite different character.
Still, I’m getting at the stage where the painting is convincing; now for the stage where the likeness is convincing.