Artists! I Need Advice

When my ex moved to Florida, he asked me to paint him something “manly and tragic” to hang up in his new place. I haven’t painted since high school, because it was only a hobby and I was never proficiently good.  (I did set painting for plays and musicals, but that’s a different type of painting.) But it still sounded like a fun commission.

For my “manly and tragic” scene I picked bull elephant seals locked in battle. I chose Watercolor because it’s the only full paint set I had left over from high school.

Here’s the problem:  It’s two years after I started and I have no idea how to finish. It just doesn’t look “done.” Especially the first seal; it looks really flat but I’m not sure where to add contrast that won’t make it too bulbous and weird.

Click to Enlarge

I tried doing various splash techniques in the water with white paint, but it became very obvious that picking Watercolor on Watercolor Paper as my medium maybe wasn’t the best idea. Once I run out of a color, it’s very hard to make a matching shade again. And watercolor doesn’t “layer” well.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe mix it with other media?

Reference picture.

(Importing into Photoshop is a last resort.)


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