As I painstakingly render the folds in the shirt I’m also thinking about the texture of the fabric.
I dislike paintings where all surfaces have the same texture, there is no difference from skin or wood. But the trouble here is that the texture of the shirt isn’t that far off from the texture of skin plus the texture of the shirt is very complex. If I look close enough I can see tiny stripes of threads and small little bumps and ridges.
To reproduce this texture I have been starting to use tap the brush on the canvas over and over. It seems to work fine for now but I fear a fuzzy out of focus look on the shirt when I’m done. To counteract too much fuzziness I’m also switching to a newer brush for some details with hard edges.
While working on the shirt I’m also playing with the focus of elements in the background. I don’t want too many hard edges back there so I’m trying to keep everything out of focus a bit. One thing I did learn is that glazing over an area of objects with one color just makes everything look dirty and doesn’t work well as an easy way to push things into the distance. Better to take my time and treat each object as it’s own thing.