After reviewing the painting this morning, I decided that the overall tone was too bright – I want the plumage to have a very dark background so that the contrast on the light feathers is stronger.
So I’ve gone back over it, using straight Mars Black in the ultra-dark areas, and scumbling various values of Mars Black+Raw Sienna Dark over much of the rest. The other advantage of the scumbling is it has removed some of the definition between the various areas, which I think is good as I didn’t want the “joins” showing through too strongly.
I’ve also reinforced the yellow of the eyes using Cad Yellow Medium + White. Because of the bright yellow eyes I’ve got a handy indication of the contrast between the darks and the lights, and you can already see that the painting is much more dramatic now.
Probably not doing anything further on this today, it needs to be completely dry before I can start to think about putting the details on, as I want them to be crisp and not reactivate the paint underneath. I’m actually considering putting a Fixer layer over it so make absolutely sure of it, but as I’m not in a hurry that’s probably not necessary.