I thought it was time to work on the nest again. I still don’t feel confident about it. Usually, I know that I can paint something even if it’s complicated. The basket, for instance, is very complex, but I’ve painted a similar one before, and I can understand its structure. The nest, on the other hand, is very irregular and made up of tiny bits and pieces- most of them hard to differentiate from each other. I’ve never tackled anything like it before. When I sat down to paint, I had no idea where to begin. I mixed many colors that I thought I’d need, more as a way of avoiding painting than anything else! Part of the problem is that part of me wants to paint every stick and twig, though I know that that’s neither practical nor desirable. It’s not as if anyone, including the bird who built the nest, would ever know if it was ‘correct!’ More importantly, I need to pick out the essential parts to emphasize the character of the nest. I want to leave out any parts that are distracting or not contributing to the beauty of the whole. An exact replica was never my intention. Eventually, I picked a tiny area to work on and focused just on that. Painting can be hard!

Below, I’ve shown my progress thus far. I’ve published the first four of these photos before, but I thought that it’d be useful to have them here as a basis of comparison with what I did today.

Above is how the nest stands now. I’ve filled in the interior with lighter strands and have begun to add the lightest pieces all over. I glazed the shadows cast by the grass onto the table and over its front edge. I’ve begun to paint in the tiny bits with a very fine brush. I still have more highlights to add and some more details, but it’s largely there now!