It started out as a loose sketch, then a tight sketch. The tight sketch wasn't doing what I wanted, and the pose was stiff and too affected. So I took what I liked best and worked on that: the face. After that was coming out well, I moved back to the pose and worked out a more natural gesture where the subject was standing instead of sitting. There was still difficulty with the way I was making the linework very tight, rigid. Pooling the blacks made it look better and the gesture started to look more natural. I didn't want it to be completely blobbed and undefined though so I tried to make the hands stand out with some detail and worked reductively on the robe around the body. The collar was added last; it may be too detailed and refined for the rest of the image.
If I were to edit this I would either A) Remove the collar completely and leave the image well enough alone, or B) add other points of detail, perhaps on the wrists or somewhere lower on the robe to match the collar.
In all, I thoroughly enjoyed making this.
Here's a detail of her face and shoulders.