Russian Firebird Picture

This was a commission for a Russian customer, as a gift for a family member....I was hesitant at first, because I was not sure what made a firebird what it was, and separate from a phoenix. But after a lot of image research, and looking at work by actual Russian artists, I started to get a feel for what defined this mythological creature. And I was happy to see that my customer recognized it as the "real thing" immediately, and she loved it. This piece is watercolor on Strathmore illustration board, and that blue background is *not* a watercolor wash. It is entirely done using a kind of stippling with layers of blue. I had the option of using latex masking fluid, but every time I use that stuff, I end up with holes or gaps in it, or places along edges where it is not thick enough to resist the paint. So then I would have blue spots all over the areas that should be yellow, and that just would not be acceptable. So rather than have to do it over, I just applied the blue the old-school way, and it worked perfectly (if slowly).
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