Here I am again, with another new piece (number 3!), in yet another medium—can you tell that I have become a total ArtRage addict?
I used much the same basic technique on this "pastel" as I did on its "Prismacolor" and "oil" predecessors:
Starting with a photo I'd shot, I first loosely traced the elements that I wanted to retain from the photo, just to establish their placement; then after setting up a base palette comprised of a few colors pulled from the original tracing image (to which I continued adding colors of my own as my work proceeded), I made the tracing image transparent (I didn't want to actually delete it at that point, just in case I happened to make a major goof, or needed to pull another color from it).
I next brought the same photo into ArtRage for reference, and blocked in my foundation colors, after which I added a new layer for beginning to bring up the degree of detail in the image overall. From that point, I continued to add (and merge) layers as seemed appropriate, ultimately merging all into a single layer. (I got rid of the reference photo fairly early in the detailing process, so that I wouldn't get too tied to it.)
Because, in the natural media realm, I tend to handle paint almost as if I were drawing with my brushes rather than painting with them, I've always thought pastels could be a good medium for me, but my opportunities to work with "the real thing" have been limited. How cool, that, with ArtRage, I now have a virtually unlimited range of colors, in virtually unlimited quantities, to experiment with!