The shadow cast on the wall by the basket handle was too sharp. To blur the edges more, I mixed three colors- one, the color of the wall, another, the color of the shadow, and an intermediate shade. I repainted the areas where the shadow meets the background, and then dragged the intermediate color between them to blend. It took quite a bit of blending to get it more or less even. The picture above shows the result.

Next I added some cast shadows using a dark glaze. You can see these on the box, tabletop and left wall (I didn’t do the shadow cast by the nest on the table yet). This was very satisfying, as it was easy to do and greatly added to the sense of reality. I didn’t make these shadows as dark as they’ll probably end up. Until I have more paint down, I can’t accurately judge the correct darkness for the shadows. I can add another glaze later to darken them, but I can’t take glazes away! If the shadows get too dark, I’d have to scumble over them with a lighter color. This would result in a more matte texture, which is not the best for shadows. Also, if I want to adjust the color of the glaze for the shadows (if they need to be redder, for example), I can add another glaze later with the color correction without making the shadow too dark.

The last shadow I added was the big shadow on the right cast by the right wall onto the back wall. I brushed on the glaze rather loosely, then stippled it with a shaving brush. This resulted in a nice even finish. Sometimes, instead of stippling with the brush, I wipe off some of the glaze with a lint-free cotton pad. This can also leave a smooth finish, but takes away a lot of the glaze. That’s fine if I want to layer many lighter glazes, but in this case, I wanted one quick dark glaze. I was eager to paint this shadow, as it is impossible to paint the right side of the basket in the correct values unless the adjacent area is correct.

I painted a bit more of the basket on the left shadow side. This is tricky, as I’ll be adding a dark glaze over this area. I need to paint the light areas even lighter than they appear, so that they’ll be visible through the subsequent dark glaze. The dark areas will need to be painted lighter too, so that they’ll be correct value after the glaze is added. The dark glaze will tend to mute details, so much of the clear underpainting will be lost. This is as it should be, because details always look obscured in the shadows. However, I don’t want to lose all of the details! As if that’s not hard enough, I’m painting an area that is in shadow. It’s hard to see!