How I made "On My Way" painting

I just collected my painting from framing and thought of sharing my process of making it. You may be that lucky person who is able to paint straight out of imagination, but I am not one of those. I need reference images for every part of the way, or I am not usually succeeding in anything decent. Below are pictures I used, to arrive at my composition, colors and patters. Most of them I usually google, by typing words "pictures of wing", "pictures of patterns", "pictures of pathway". Here we go:




I used this reference for a model's face, hand a overall pose. I like it that it looked as if I could put something in her hand.


I thought of various options and liked this compas. It was added as collage and lightly overpainted.


I collaged this bird and heavily overpainted it. This image is from Graphics Fairy - free vintage images to use.


The wing was also collaged, made larger and overpainted. From Graphics Fairy.


This napkin from my collection was collaged at the bottom of her dress, and also overpainted.


I used this photo of G.Newton "Golden Path" for reference of my background. I collect many images of pathways for my art reference.


Dress pattern over the napkin.


Arch on top.


Flowers at the bottom.

Basically, I used to really get stuck with my paintings lacking interest, complexity and detail, until I started using references. If you experience the same problem, than it may be the way to go for you. In the end, you don't copy anyone's art, but make it your own.