Highlights and darkest darks
In this final step, I add my opaque lights that stand as my highlights and accents of colour. Because the uniform glazes don’t cover these areas, they tend to be bright and vivid. Conversely, I also add my darkest darks: in this case, the inactive area of the painting that frames the active areas.
I add the tattoos as tools to direct the viewer’s eye and not let it go out of the composition. Lost edges help to build the complete image in the mind’s eye of the viewer. The human brain is excellent at interpretation and filling in the gaps. When direct light hits a glass container filled with fluid, the light generally is trapped to a certain degree in the container and bounces around before exiting. This causes a glow or a gradient in the fluid. I group the majority of the darks and use it to frame the focal areas. The outlines of bright saturated colour help to suggest glow and add atmospheric perspective.