This afternoon I continued working on the painting of Mick posing as the King of Hearts. I focused on the fur, but also deepened the right side of the background and added touches to the quilt.
Specifically regarding the quilt, I replaced areas that had been darkened or lightened with glazes with pure color from pastels of the appropriate color and value. As far as the shading and highlighting on the quilt goes, glazing with white and dark brown gives a quick idea of how the folds in the fabric are working. And I think the white glaze also gives a little of the look of worn cotton. But I felt that it needed the purity of unglazed color here and there.
I added a bit of blue to the shadows on Mick to try to better integrate him and the quilt (which I also did with patches of tan in the quilt). And I brightened the iris color and the highlights in his eyes.
As I look at the photo (why is it so much easier to see these things in the photos than in the piece itself?) I see that the color gradation I put in the upper background isn’t smooth although it seemed so as I was applying it. So I need to fix that. And also I want to carry the darker color further to the left. This will put the greater contrast between the background and the cat’s head on the left side of his head rather than the right side, and that’s where I want it.
Shelley pointed out that the fur on the rump needs work, and I agree. I may want to also darken the lower corners. Also, the dark red stripe at the bottom bothers me. I now see that it needs to curve upward rather than downward on the right end. As it it, it too closely echoes the dark stripe at the top and, together, they lead the eye off and down the page to the right – it’s almost like Mick is going to fall off! So there’s definitely more work to do!