Highlights and shadows. Do I start with a dark hand and paint in the highlights, or start with a light hand and add shadows? I seem to remember reading that Greek icon painters did it one way, and Russian icon painters the other (can’t remember which way round this went.)
I usually start in the middle, by painting the whole hand with that mid tone on the wrist, then I’ll add dark and light, in that order. However, with such a limited pigment range, I think the hand looks a bit 15th century. So I’ll probably add touches of other colours – blue/grey and beige/green – later. Always steal from the masters.