Some of the changes between these versions are pretty obvious such as the hair being more detailed but others aren’t. I have spent a lot of time softening the tone transitions in both the skin and dress. I adjusted the borders of the canvas so that I could add more of the dress draping down her arms. A surprisingly accidental effect of this change was to turn her gaze more forward as in the reference photo, which was something that was frustrating me. I had come to the conclusion that I was stuck with her staring slightly off to her left; however, the changes pulled the focus of her eyes more to the right. Happy accident.
I have also worked hard to get her eyes more shadowed to increase the intensity of the gaze. In addition, I balanced the hair better by adding more to the left of the image, which may have helped the eye focus too. Tonight I have been working on the dress by adding more wrinkles on the sleeves and lightning around the neck to achieve a more silky feel. Basically, I am very close and just correcting issues and adding detail. The changes made here are, of course, causing changes in the final painting, such as placing her more in the center and maybe making her bigger, which would be appropriate. Once I finalize this image, it will be a matter of copying it into the main image and adding the effects to unify the whole. What do you think?