The leaves are nearly finished:
I thought the leaves/branches would only take me a few hours...I am a bit of a delusional optimist because it was more like 15 or 16 hours. Next I will finish some details on the leaves, work on the portrait a bit more, and then cover the entire white background with 2B or 4B pencil. Then, the piece will be sprayed with fixative.
Leafing will come next - first a layer of matte medium on the background (not the leaves or portrait), then the adhesive, then the gold leaf, then the sealant. All in all it will take about a week to finish - every layer will require about a day to dry.