Well I finished the Madonna and Baby --- I think. I always let it sit a day and look again with a fresh eye but I feel pretty complete with her.
I thought I would share another one of the tricks that I have picked up along the way. When I begin a painting I always have a light source in mind so I know where to put the shadows. When the painting is pretty much done I go back over the whole thing and hit where the light would fall from the light source. It is almost always a diagonal. For instance, in this painting the light source is from the upper left hand corner to the lower right. So at the end I went back and brightened up the arch (it is a little hard to see in this picture), the reds in the upper left, Mary's head piece, her upper cheek, her nose etc. This for me helps the painting come alive and also gives me a satisfying sense of --done! I am sure this is not a new technique but I call it moving light. I move the light along the canvas at the very end of the process.