The surface is a 36x36 inch, smooth Russian Linen. I started the drawing sort of loose with vine charcoal. I plan on making many changes so I didn't mind jumping in and starting the composition without too much forethought. I painted a similar painting last summer as an 18x24 and I expect this one to be very different.
Here is a shot of the reference I am using.
I purposely chose a bad photo to work from, it is small, black & white and grainy. I want to use my imagination to work on this painting and don't want to be a slave to my reference. I will probably paint most of the painting without the photograph once I get it going. Since this is an experiment, it wasn't really important how I started or how accurate my drawing was. It obviously isn't a very accurate drawing but it is enough to get me going.
p.s. I won't be writing this much with every post...most will be just an image upload and a brief description.