Finally, all of the shapes are in place. Now it’s time to assess what I’ve done and create a plan of attack for problem areas (anticipated or not). First, and most importantly, the extreme busy feel to the painting has to be changed. I hope to accomplish this by softening the edges in both the background and foreground. This will help lead the viewer’s eye to the middle ground plain and ultimately to the loon. This also is the stage where I begin to smooth out the areas that have a “brushy” look to them and do away with any remnants of my “focus frames.”
Second, some detail in the face of the loon needs to me added… especially to the eye. This can get tricky. Overdo it and the painting will take on a cartoon-like feel. Not enough and the head reads as simply a black blob. While I’m at it, I’m not happy with the shape of the loon’s head… specifically the forehead or crest area. That should be an easy fix.
Lastly, to this point I’ve used no black from the tube in this painting. All of the “black” areas are simply a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt umber with a touch of dioxazine purple. I may add some bits of ivory black to really make some areas pop.
I’ve uploaded this image in a larger format than usual to make these problem areas easier to see.