Work in Progress: "Small Worlds" series mirror

A while ago, a reader asked me if I could document the creation of one of my pieces here on the blog.  I thought it was an interesting idea, but it seemed like I'd always remember it just as I was completing a piece rather than beginning it.  This week, I began working on another in the "Small Worlds" mirror series, and recalled the request.  So, not quite from the beginning (sorry!), here is the progress so far: 

This is the 12"x24" MDF (medium density fibreboard) base.  Stan cuts it from a larger, 4'x8' sheet, cuts the opening for the mirror, then routs it on the back, so the mirror will fit in perfectly.

I measure out and mark the 3-inch squares for the design (20 in all).

Then, I decide on the color palette for the mirror, and create the hand-colored papers for the 3-inch squares.

Here are the hand colored papers in place.  I'm working with a limited palette of greens and blues, with a touch of metallic gold and interference violet.

Here's where I am today, with the 2 1/2" circles tentatively placed upon the colored squares.  It is at this point that I make final decisions about the color combinations (for example:  Does the purple stand out too much?  Should I go back to the brick red I'd orignally thought would work?).  Once the final placement is established, I'll adhere the circles to the surface.  Then the fun begins:  creating each 'small world' within the circles!   More to come....