Gesso is painted liberally over the lower much of the piece to block out much unwanted colour and lay a new foundation. The upper layers remain.

The dry gesso is glazed with transparent yellow and green. Calligraphy is added to represent stems with a rigger brush.

While the glaze is still damp it is sprinkled with water droplets and swept with a soft brush to create subtle textures.

Layering with transparent darks and opaque lights to build layers of foliage and berries.

More layering with dark transparent colours. Positive embellishments are introduced to animate the surface and add a new dimension.

This is a good time to check on the progress. Compare this stage with the painting I started with. It might be a good time to stop but I can’t resist taking it further!

Can you see how the tar gel breaks up the surface and adds texture?

Hello dark! I have added Painting Medium to transparent darks to thin the paint. Using a big, soft flat brush the deep glaze is spread over much of the painting. Some of the shapes become more subdued and others disappear into the shadows.

Many times during the layering I block out passages with gesso and reglaze. It may seem risky to paint over areas this late in the game but this is actually a simple way to establish large shapes and create more depth.

This is one of the paper palettes that I have used during the building of this painting. The neutral mid-value grey helps me discern the temperature and value of my colours.

Time to add some positive embellishments to the painting. I have selected a specific area to build in and limit these accent marks to that section. The strong contrast of value, hue change and highly active staccato marks establish this as the area of interest.

Here is how the painting looks at this moment as it stands against the wall in my studio. I will keep looking at it and consider if it is complete. That said, if I am wondering then it probably isn’t! I’m tempted to add more small yellow-green leaf strokes in the upper left side... stay tuned!