For me the challenge was capturing Isabella’s expression. The dilemma, however, was that to merely copy the expression would be like trying to forge someone’s signature it would result in the emotional flatness that all counterfeits exhibit.
My approach was somewhat like method acting. I envisioned myself as Rubens enjoying a wonderful day drawing amongst a happy family. Rubens was an incredibly busy artist. He was, at times, overwhelmed by the number of ongoing commissions in his workshop (‘factory’ is a more accurate description) yet in his private hours he drew and painted for the sheer love of it. Even if Rubens had never made a Gulden he would still have created art all of his life. It was the centre of his being. Something to consider in these difficult times when many people are giving up their art.