I started with my narrative in mind and all the figures, but with the idea of leading the eye through the image.
A rule-breaker: I wanted my background yellow, like low sun rays filtered through brushes and trees.
After filling in the middle-ground, it gets busy and confusing. It has lost some of the back-lit glitter that I was aiming for. But the abstracting stained-glass effect of the background is developing.
To finish, I enhanced the yellow in parts of the background - I believe that if you use color, do it decisively. With my big flat brush, I pulled and pushed little pieces of the background to enhance the stained glass effect and keep it simple. Then I darkened areas of the middleground to make the figure up front pop. I softened the rock edges behind the front guy to make them recede. .
'Sycamore Canyon Coatis', Quarter Sheet Arches cold pressed, framed in 16 in by 20 in.
For the story behind the painting see my nature blog
Available: matted prints 16x 20 and canvas print 6 in by 8 in of just the front Coati