When we last left the basket, the bottom was still pretty rough. Today, I went over it again, adding details, correcting shapes and colors, and softening edges. The first photo is the before shot, the second, the after shot.

I clarified some forms that were a bit obscure before. I also started adding more highlights.

I’ve been refining the colors since I put down that first layer of paint. At first, with little to use as comparison, the colors weren’t quite right. A lot of them were too bright and too orange or yellow. This is common, in the beginning. I look at a piece of bamboo and it looks bright orange. How orange, I can’t yet tell. That was fine as a beginning, but the more I painted, the more I began to see that the colors I had used weren’t matching the set-up. (See the photo from a few weeks ago, below, and below that, the most recent photo.) The actual basket appeared much cooler and more muted. This is most obvious on the right side. Also, when I began to paint, I didn’t indicate the subtle changes in color in each strip of bamboo or the reflections from the light source. I just wanted to get down the basic color. Now, however, I can begin to see and indicate all of these details.

Above is how the basket looks now. (I’m sorry about the glare in the upper right corner! Getting a good photo is hard.) I will continue to mute some of the bright colors and add highlights. I’ve been focusing on the basket, but the same considerations hold true for the other objects in the painting. All start out as approximations, then get gradually refined.

I’ve been focusing on details for a while, but I never want to loose sight of the complete composition. I’m constantly standing back and taking in the whole. All of the objects must work together to create a beautiful and well-balanced composition. A well-painted object or texture will never make up for a bad composition.

Looking at the painting now, I think that it works fairly well. I might want to darken the shadow on the lower left-side wall and add even more highlights to the light side of the basket and the nest. Perhaps the dark side of the basket needs to be a bit darker. I haven’t decided yet. I’ll live with it for a while.