The background was always to be a dark cold night. I'm laying in a Tsukineko ink color called Blue Bayou... a dark blue with a slight teal hint. I first lay in a dark mid value ,, getting lighter as Father Christmas emerges from darkness into white snow.
I will layer in greater value as I move along.... but note in the closeup below where I have placed really dark value behind Father Christmas' head and shoulders...how profoundly white the whites are and how much more important the central figure becomes when showcased this way. He's coming along well I think.