Finally, finished those pesky cardinals! It was fun–the Christensen influence is obvious, and I really enjoyed the funky anatomy, so I think I may do a few more.

Photographing them was nearly as hard as painting ’em…ever since I started working large, they’ve been tough, and I’ve had to use Photoshop for–madness!–photo-retouching! Which means, ironically, that I’m suddenly using all those tools that I hate, hate, hate for art, because for their actual intended purpose, they’re quite useful. Dodge and burn should never be used to color with, but you can do good things with them for correction on, say, the black layer of a CMYK seperation. And gradients, while a big no-no for backgrounds, are handy to counteract lighting flaws when overlaid on another layer. (I actually had to get James to show me how to use the gradient tool, because it’s been like five years since I’ve even touched it.) I kept feeling twitchy every time I hit those tools, though. Such ingrained aversion!
and a detail at

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