When working on a toned surface like this, my approach is different than working on a white ground. Since the middle value is already established, I begin by working the two ends of the value scale simultaneously.
In steps 1 and 2 you can see that after sketching the big shapes I blocked in color and value for the lightest and darkest tones right away. This gives me a good feel for the spectrum of values I’ll be using.
Next I begin to establish the other colors to be used and guarantee they work together. In steps 3 and 4 the cherries are brought near completion and the leaves are indicated to give me a better feel for how these reds and greens will work with the rest of the painting. Then I can move ahead confidently.
In step 5 leaves are added behind the dessert and the shadow of the cheesecake is indicated on the plate. In step 6 the plate itself is taken to finish, and a gold edge is added to it. Finally, the foreground and background will be added to complete the painting. Scroll up to see the finished painting or click the headline to bid on eBay ($45, with no reserve).
If this was of interest let me know and I’ll post more demos in the future.
Happy painting! - - Tom Brown