So I was obviously avoiding the coat. At this point, though, I have to paint it or scrap the painting. After having nightmares about it I realized I have this really awesome black wool coat in my closet, so I put it on and painted myself from my mirror. Problem solved.
By the way, if you want to make black a little more interesting, mix some ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide into it. When the blue and the red are perfectly balanced they create a lovely dark neutral that adds some pep to the black. Also, from brushstroke to brushstroke you can subtly nudge your colour a little towards the blue or the red for added interest. See? I think of these things.
Since all the folds in the arm (my painting arm, actually) kept changing I thought I'd take the painting as far as I could in one pass. For a while I thought I was Jeremy Lipking (a mistake we all make from time to time) and got a little cocky. I thought I'd paint a knock-your-socks-off alla prima coat. At the end of the day I came down off of my high and realized that I really needed another pass after all. I made an effort to make the button holes a little irregular, but the spacing, unfortunately, is so regular that it's distracting. All I want to do is look at them button holes.
I get really anxious about fixing halos like the one around Lucie's coat. The area I left for her torso ended up being too big and as a result I had to match the existing landscape and fill in the gap. Yes, it was a very stressful day. Now here's the painting in it's frame. It's always good to keep the painting from getting stale and popping it into a frame is one way to do that. You can also flip the painting upside down or look at it in a mirror, or put the painting across the room to look at it. Don't do this too often, or the upside-down version or across-the-room version will start to get stale too. I reserve these tricks for emergencies only, like when I've spent a couple hours painting a coat and I'm beginning to suspect I'm going to regret today's work tomorrow.
At some point that day I also revised the sky. Trusty old Mars and Titanium, with some Cad Yellow Deep to neutralize. Cad Yellow Deep is a pretty awesome colour to use in skies.