While I can, and do, paint many a picture straight from my imagination without any reference at all, I have found that I much prefer to have something to reference when I have a figure in my painting. It comes out much better.
I'm currently working on my Alice painting, as well as a dual castle painting that I am capturing from blank canvas to finished product with the time lapse (I figured out how to add music yesterday! And a title!) I know I will continue a bit with the Alice series (with my daughter as the model), but I also know I'm going back to fairytales.
In college, my very favorite class was Mythology and Fairytales. We studied Grimm, Perrault, Greek Myths, Norse Myths, Indian, and more. I LOVED it. My favorite paintings over the years have been from fairytales as well, so I made a decision to go back in that direction.
Yesterday, I took some study shots. Well, my daughter was not here, so I ended up the model directing my husband to take the shots. These are studies not only for Snow White, but also Red Riding Hood, and a few others. I can't wait to use them, and they'll be for larger paintings than what I've been working on. I may even go back to a 30 x 40 for one of them.