It's funny how you set a painting aside while you "think about it" and time goes by.
Lots of time. In fact, May through October went by! But I never put the painting away. It was always looking at me when I entered the kitchen, my temporary studio. (Click on images to enlarge.)
Time is always an issue but as I think about it, the pine needles were also giving me a bit of hesitation. What finally motivated the painting's finish was my desire to complete my Red-shouldered Hawk project which began last February, a wonderful five-month experience observing a pair of Red-shouldered hawks during nesting season. I wanted to include this painting in my sketchbook slideshow.
I began the foreground with a light wash saving the ivy leaves. This was followed with negative painting--painting between the needles to save the lighter colors and create depth. To finish, I added some darker painted needles and a bit of splatter.
Painting is always a learning process for me, part of the fun and challenge. So much of what I do is unplanned and intuitive, even though I do consider how I want to approach the subject. In this case, I discovered that the water used in splattering faded some of my darker needles and I had to repaint them. Next time I might try splattering just before I add the final details and maybe add a bit more pigment to my splatter.