The photos above and below are from my personal art journal. I knew I wanted to do a design for my niece, and I was playing around with characters. As you can see, I decided that I like that one shoulder up pose, but I was playing with faces. For me, projects like this are best when I do a couple of trial runs in my journal.
My niece was moving into a new room decorated in green and purple, so that directed the color of the design. I used acrylic craft paint for the entire design. I like to design with multiple elements and textures. The border of this is a harlequin print, and the center is a wash of bright apple green. I used a masonite "canvas" in 11" x 14" size.
Next, I added vines (with a liner brush) and leaves (with a #8 Filbert brush), around the inside of the harlequin design.
I added white accents around the vines and lining the leaves, again with the liner brush.
I filled in the harlequin checks with purple, and painted the edges of the canvas in green.
With the liner brush, I added gold wavy lines around the harlequin checks.
The final step was to use stamps with paint (I used old Paintability stamps, a company I owned with Tracia Williams years ago, but any rubber stamp will work with acrylic paint. Just apply the paint with a rubber cosmetic sponge, and make sure that you don't get any blotches of paint that will distort the design.) I used Gold paint for this, because I wanted to add texture and shine but I didn't want it to overwhelm the main design.
Next, I drew the design freehand with a pencil, and then painted the base colors. I had to block out the background, so this took two layers of paint.
You can see that I added red hair (my niece has red hair), and details to the bow, and he fabric design.
I painted in the face details, hair, and lined her clothes, the bow, and the skin with a thin line of black.
The final step was to add a Satin Varnish over the entire design after it had dried. I also painted a message to my niece around the outside of the canvas, but that was private, so it isn't shown here.