This week, I finished it off, and it's now Dead Leaves and Live Cats. I didn't want any mistakes about whether or not "dead" also described the cats. Ugh. That sort of painting would NOT make a great wedding present.
I figured it might be fun to see the middle stage and the finished (edited) stage side by side. (I mean, to be perfectly honest, it's fun for ME to see them side by side.)
Analysis: too flat, too much white space, too unfinished looking. It really just needs a little more work to feel finished.
I added some black/gray into the background to make it look like a foggy forest, and it really did give the little wavy tree shapes in the background more depth. And, of course, I added in the two cats. The doctor who the painting is for really, really loves her cats. She may or may not have hired a pet therapist to try to get her and her fiancé's cats to get along better. Hey, she's a doctor. She can afford it.
All I really needed was a little more atmo and a little more paint to make it look finished. The cats are just pure bonus. There are definitely still things I'm not happy about with the painting, but I now think it's Wedding Gift worthy.
I'm sure there's writing lessons there. I'll let them up to you.
And, Camilla, another bonus is that the cats add scale and make it seem much less likely that the rocks/sticks are piles of poo! Although I did love that you were critical of Nigel's (helpful) criticism and then go one to tell me about the poo problem. I swear, the people I surround myself with just cannot help but mock me.