Speaking the Language of Birds, update
So this is where I am at the end of today. This painting is just starting to gain presence and solidity. It's important to work back and forth, playing flesh tones against fabric, bodies against stone, a glimpse of sky through draperies. Getting it right, so that the painting seems so real - yet is not - hangs on how convincing the reality is. These girls have never met each other, the setting is completely imaginary, the seagull seems so important but was almost the last component.
The scale is a big part of it. The girls are life-sized, and you should want to walk right into this painting and stand beside them.