The dear friend of a dear friend, “Miss M.” Her 9” x 12” portrait (oil on panel) is in an early stage here, a monochromatic underpainting (of lean, fast-drying colors) to set the composition and values. You can still see the grid lines (vine charcoal) that I used to transfer (draw) the image from an photo provided by the owner. The next layer of paint will be more opaque. The grid lines will disappear and the color will come alive. This is a traditional way of building a painting in layers, being mindful of the “fat over lean” rule (the later layers have a little more linseed or walnut oil, either sparingly added by me or already in a particular color.) Like many oil painters, I don’t use solvents of any kind while painting or cleaning brushes, a much healthier way to paint.