This piece is titled "The new fan." The character on the left is showing her new feather fan to the other girls. I wanted to paint each girl with a different reaction to the fan.
All of the characters in the original reference were wearing very plain dresses. Beadwork designs were added to them to establish a rhythm and color variation to an otherwise gold palette. The three girls grouped together were further grouped with their beadwork patterns continuing into each other.
Originally I tried to paint this character with a Shirley Temple-esqe reaction. It proved to look too cutesy and distracting. Her body stance as if she was not going to be impressed with any new fan went better with a more subdued expression.
This girl had her own fan-lets say an older plain model. I wanted her to look as if she wished she had the newer fan and felt a little embarrassed about her old plain fan.
While this girl was shy to show her reaction, her hand is starting to clutch her dress in excitement. Her feet are leaning towards the fan to get a better look at it.