This is always the most critical part of the portrait (obviously!). I didn't want to get too far with the background until I was sure the pattern I'd designed for the face was realistic. And I'm satisfied.
There is nothing worse than putting together a large piece, spending weeks on it, only to discover upon further study that the face isn't really a good likeness to the person. And believe me, it has happened to me before.
So, I'm excited. I don't have to start over yet again! I think I'll celebrate by taking the evening off.