As I often do, I set up the painting next the the TV last night and gave it a good hard look. Almost immediately a problem jumped out at me. The left monkey’s left arm and foot just weren’t grounded on the branch. Also, there was a disturbing dark ring around one of the mangoes on the lower left. As I looked at it more, I kicked myself for not doing a value sketch first. True, I never do. But especially with this painting I see how it would have helped. After all, my line drawings look a lot different once color and value are added and the focus in on them rather than on the lines. If I manage to finish this painting to my liking, this lesson will no doubt be forgotten especially as it seems that I prefer the “plan as you go” approach in so many of my endeavors. So perhaps that’s just me and something to accept.
By the way, I also noticed that the monkeys are smack dab in the middle of the painting and that the edge of the dark foliage cuts the painting in half at the top as does the left monkey’s tail at the bottom. Judicious cropping may help this. I think it’s OK for the subject to be in the middle for a portrait but the other things are just a little too much.
Anyway, today I finished the detail in the left monkey – at least at this initial level – and proceeded to the right one. I changed the curve of the her (the right monkey, that is) back. Although it was true to my reference photo, it just looked strange to me and, after all, the painting is what counts – not the reference photo.
I made a stab at correcting the lack of grounding of the monkey’s feet by widening the branch and beginning to add a stub to support that troublesome front foot.
I’m pretty happy with how things are going this far. I just with the white fringe of hair around the left monkey’s head showed up more. But I don’t know how to make that happen with such a light background.