Using a mixture of Van Dyk Brown and Payne's Gray, I laid a wash for the eagle. For the falcon, I used a wash of Thio Violet (a Quinacridone/Perylene mix) and Payne's Gray. Since everything was so wet, I had to wait before painting anything else (to avoid bleed). The area surrounding the 'gems' were dry, so I put a light wash of Quinacridone Rose for the bottom gems, and Green Gold for the top.
More Washes and Value:
Next I started to work on value. Once the first wash was dry, I layered additional, light washes of Thio Violet+Van Dyk Brown (eagle) and Thio Violet/Payne's Gray (falcon). Using a concentrated mixture of these colors, I went back once the washes were dry and put in the overlap shadows of each feather. Closer to the head of the falcon, I switched to just Payne's gray, since the color shifts from violet-blue at the bottom, to a cyan at the top. I did the same for the eagle, switching to just Van Dyk Brown as I went closer to the head, as the color will shift from shades of red, to yellow.
Color Layers and Value:
With my main shadows in, now I continue with even more layers. Instead of value, however, the purpose of these layers is to build color. Over the falcon, I still use the combination of Thio Violet with Payne's Gray, but with more violet. As I gradually paint the layers, I use a bit of Colbalt Blue, and then a very light mixture of Turquoise Blue and Cerulean Blue as I go up. Using the dark mixture for the shadows, I water it down a bit and start painting in some texture on the feathers.
For the eagle, I build up the color with Thio Violet/Van Dyk Brown, and as I go closer to the head, start using Cadmium Orange, and then Aureolin Yellow. Keep in mind I am painting many, many light layers! It's very hard to go lighter without getting a blotchy mess, so to build up your colors and value, it's important to gradually build up your layers. This results in rich, blended color and value.
Also at this step, I start building up the color in the gems. I may end up using acrylic to really make those gems vibrant. For both birds, I start putting in a bit more feather detail, particularly in the head.
To see the beginning of this project, please see: Radiance - Work in Progress Part 1