I love this stage of writing an icon. The underpainting, the color schemes, the pulling-it-all-together with broad strokes to harmonize through color. It is such an enjoyable task–even more so since it is nearly impossible to make a mistake at this point! Anything can be quickly and easily corrected, removed, redone. It’s totally freeing!
I found photos of mosaics from the Chora which showed the Apostles Luke and Matthew. They are quite ancient, and I will use them to pattern the garment colors for my icon. Over the centuries, there has been quite a bit of variation in their garment colors, but I feel pretty confident using these old Byzantine originals as a source for my color models.