Last winter we got to enjoy, for the first time that I remember, waxwings as they passed through our area. They devoured our berries and were quite fun to watch. My wife insisted that I paint one for her.
Waxwings are different birds, especially to paint, with their smooth transitions rather than feathered markings. That's part of their appeal, in my opinion. However, this also makes for a different type of painting compared with other birds I've attempted to paint.
I'm fairly pleased with the painting so far. However, the most troubling thing to me is the hard, dark edge around the body of the bird. It's not quite so stark in person, but the photo captures it well.
Does this distract from the subject? I also get the sense that the entire painting is a bit "flat." I've considered a light wash on the distant background (the right 1/2 of the painting behind the bird). But I don't know whether to go with a bright or dull wash. Which would help the subject more?
Any advice for these or other aspects of the painting?
I'm grateful for your thoughtful C&C.