Step 1: The research I usually start from an artist / artwork I like and then dig into biographies both online and in art books. I'm lucky to have a great library and love google books ;-)
Step 2: Canvas preparation. I like them to be smooth so I coat them with gesso and sand them until they are soft.
Step 3: Painting ! Once I have chosen the image, I print it the same size of the finish painting to get all the details. I paint with acrylics and it's fun to recreate artworks painted in oils, encaustic or gold leaf with this medium. One of my challenges is to pick the right colors because photos modify them. I study several photos to assess them as best as I can. That's why I take lots of photos when I go to a museum!
Step 4: The dialogs The dialogs and dates are accurate and based on my research. I use quotes or interviews of the artists that I include in the dialogs. My goal is to show the links between the artist and his friends, art dealors, collectors or muse... I try to be as close as possible to the personality of the artist and convey his message in just a few words.
Step 5: Varnishing I varnish the painting to give it a glossy touch and to preserve it. I simply have to write its title and ID number and the painting is ready !