Here is the process I went through to create my Osprey in Nest painting. Although I was mostly finished in these versions, I made some final adjustments to finish the painting.
In this painting I am less than half way through the painting. I got the basic colours and a few glazes, but it still needs more work.
In this version I thought I was finished, but after further inspection I realized that the clouds were rushed and looked too uniform or something. The shadows in the clouds didn’t seem to belong and they are too dark. I added several layers of transparent glazes including primary colours in the nest as well as the birds.
In this version I adjusted the clouds, but something is still off with the leg on the flying osprey and even after tons of work it was like I was blind to this but in the end I saw it.
In the very final version, I fixed the leg and put a few more glazes on the clouds. In the end I was very satisfied with the outcome of this painting. One possible issue is perhaps that I made the sky too blue and didn’t add enough of a gradient, but it was a very bright blue sky the day I saw the osprey and the only way to convey this was through a very saturated sky.
Here is the reference photo I used for the painting. I took this while on vacation in 2016. You can see how I changed the picture for my painting. I also used another reference for the landing osprey, and the baby as well as the clouds. I thought the overhanging pine tree also added a lot of character and helped frame the painting.