I want the background to be soft and not compete with the birds.
I also try to have lighter tones behind the darker wood part of the birds, and darker tones where the silver necks, head and feet are, so they don't get lost.
Just a little colour warms up the niche and gives it some contrast.
I cover the bottom part of the mural, which is completed, so that it doesn't get dripped on as I paint the top. I suppose I could have painted the top first, but its not always easy to be logical in these things. I wanted to get the stuff on the bottom really working before I made decisions about the top.
I removed the entire lower section of the tree- just like real tree trimming! Its much better now, allowing the ruddy sky to feature more prominently, and making more ''space'' for the birds to feature more strongly.
The point here, was not to produce a complete scenic view, like a regular painting, but to paint it only up to the point where it seemed there was ''something missing''. The "something" is the two birds, which, when added later, complete the picture.
This realization made a huge difference. Its much more effective now.
Its a stage setting. Not a stand-alone piece.
Remember- click on the pictures to make them bigger!