I started this Macaw piece about three years ago, right when I was starting these experimental pieces. I saw a lot of potential but it soon stopped working and I put it away and didn't look at it for a long while. There was something not quite right with it and I had other pieces that were working so it sat for three years.
I pulled it out yesterday and found the problems right off the bat. First off the red had no color to play off of so it was drab and flat. Secondly it had gotten too yellow in the vortex and that also affected the red. it no longer had a Scarlet Macaw color, it became muddy looking.
So yesterday I pushed the background color of green and created some brush flashes and movement behind the birds. That brought the reds back in line and they now had individual presence. So this made the movement and flow of the feathers start to work and I could see the shape and line patterns appearing again.
Then I started placing brush marks of green into the birds and the vortex slowly and this helped to weaken the yellow ochre color that had dominated the inner workings around where the transparent egg will be.
I also will add more marks of green into the bodies of the birds and this will do two things, it will create the idea of the birds being slightly transparent looking, it will suggest more of the movement and the linear flow patterns and the colors will interact and create more dynamic eye appeal.
I have a lot of work to do with the feathers, the vortex movement and the shapes then I will paint the egg to look transparent, with color added behind, then I will paint the heads with a more realistic look to make them jump out a bit and then look for any sore thumb parts that stick out, fix them then varnish it.