The snake got fattened a little bit after observing the anaconda for a bit at Academy of Sciences the other day. Rather happy with how this piece turned out on the whole actually.
I got asked the other day about how I pick colors. The answer - Decision through Indecision.
The long translation: I frequently have only the vaguest of ideas as to a color scheme. For the most part a general equation in my head is for complimentary colors to really make foreground pop from background. Sometimes I have fixed in my head what color I want one particular element to be, and from there a process of gradual elimination determines the rest of the colors.
Example, for this piece, I started with the green/gold background. The cats were also predetermined to be normal cat colors, but an array of different sorts. Black, white, calico, orange tabby, etc. This results in darkening the green distant background trees around them to make them stand out more. It also follows then that if I want to keep the girl as a definitive focus, she would need some color to pop her out from the green - either her hair or her frock, and orange or red would be a real eye-catcher since it would compliment the foresty green tones.
The same follows for the arcing tree branch in front. Orange to really pull it out to the foreground. You'll notice that red/orange is used throughout the piece to focus the viewer's attention and say "Hey this is important!" Kinda the way Nature uses bright colors to signify "Danger!" or "Pick me, I'm the most beautiful (thus strongest and most worthy!" It ends up being fiery tones in this piece because I set the stage for it with the predominantly green background. It's happened sometimes that I get too carried away with backgrounds and vibrant clashing tones in it end up fighting with the foreground with attention, but fortunately this piece doesn't seem to have suffered from that affliction.
Frequently my color choices are not quite so decisive as all of this sounds. I'll start with one color, try something out, decide that I hate it and either scrub it out with lifting, or just painting right on top with an alternate. Hate that, go back to a darker version of first attempt. Hate it all but at that point unable to do anything more about it since it's watercolors and once the colors are down, you really can't change too much. Finish the painting, live with it for a week, and then suddenly I'm not hating it so much. Proximity sometimes just drowns out any objective analysis, and a few days to mellow gives a new perspective.