Finished at last!

I made a few changes after “sitting” with this painting propped up by the TV for a few hours last night. I darkened the lower part of the large leaf in the foreground, lightened the sky behind the bird on the right, and intensified highlights and shadows on the berry branch. So now I think I’ve gone as far as I can go with this one.
I’m happy with the color scheme and composition in this piece, and I think the personality of the birds comes through. The background is busy and complicated and I probably could have/should have done better with it, especially by layering leaves on more vertical planes for depth. On the other hand, I was trying for an almost abstact look with the leaves, so perhaps I acheived that. As I look at the photo, I see that the upper edge of the big leaf on the lower right “reads” more like part of the sky than the curved edge of the leaf lobes. Darn. If I had noticed that sooner, I could have corrected it. But now that I have the fixative on it I’m reluctant to mess with it any more. All in all, I’m pretty happy with this one. I don’t think it’s one of my better pieces, but I give myself points for venturing out of my comfort zone and trying a new type of paper.
It feels good to have this one finished. Except for one step: thinking of a name a bit more creative than “Sun Conures.”
The jury is still out on whether or not I will use this paper – Pastelmat – again. And really it’s only a question of fitting my style. As I said yesterday I couldn’t get a “wash” and that’s very important to me. Probably I should assume that it’s me and not the paper and give it another chance. I really liked the way it grabbed so much pigment off my pastel pencils.
I’m working on the drawing for the next one – a cat – and hope to start it tomorrow so I guess I’d better make my paper decision pretty quick.

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