When I lived in Indianapolis, I had a few favorite works at the IMA (the Indianapolis Museum of Art), and some of those were a couple of small portraits done by Cornielle de Lyon, a Dutch portrait painter who worked in the 1500's. This reproduction from the IMA's website is a bit dark:
But what I love about these -- apart from the size, they're fairly small -- is the lovely green background and finely painted details. So that's my inspiration. I captured the face of Miss Persephone in different views, and decided to do four of them. Another thing I loved about the Cornielle deLyon portraits is the varnish, it makes the colors glow, so I put several coats of spar varnish on these, which will also help protect them since they're close to the stove.
I came home from class one night and just worked on them until I finished around midnight. Varnished them and the next morning made frames. They are really great, and I think they're the perfect addition. However, Mercury is a little sulky, so it looks like I've got a portrait of him to paint in my future.