So here is the result of what has probably been about 3 more days worth of work (spread out across a few weeks). I've really enjoyed this stage because it's all been about the detail and I can just keep picking at it whenever I have a spare 10 mins or so here and there.
It's rather like doing a jigsaw!
I may add a couple of butterflies and I'm still not entirely satisfied with the lack of sharpness of the hemlock, so I might tinker with this corner a bit more before moving onto the main tree trunk and branches. I will probably tackle the tree when I know I can dedicate a good chunk of time to it. I'm going to have to work with a large brush and be quite bold with my strokes to get the basic shading before I can work on the detail of the bark. I want to make sure I have plenty of time to develop a satisfactory effect before I have to leave it again for a few more days/weeks.
Stories Beyond Words
When I awake from a dream the other week, I had the realisation that the little dog in the painting is protecting the little boy and guarding the portal. His job is to make sure that nothing negative or harmful follows the boy through the gateway to spoil whatever is on the other side. I also felt very excited because I dreamt that I was about to walk through the emerald portal in the painting and begin a new life changing adventure. At this point in time I can honestly say that I have no idea how this will manifest or when, so in the meantime I will keep putting one foot in front of the other (and one brush stroke after another) in the hope that one day I will find myself on the other side of the portal painting a whole other kind of picture!
What new opportunity is opening up in your life right now and will you have the courage and curiosity to explore it?