Here is a close-up of the finished rendering of the hole. This is about the only part of the painting I am satisfied with at the moment, but it is giving me some incentive to really work through the hardships of the medium that is gouache.
I started blocking in the dark cast shadows at this point.
I had this idea of making my creature glow vibrantly. I was excited about it for a moment, but realized how unusual it would be to have such dark cast shadows on an entity that was generating its own light source. It just would not make sense. At any rate, I thought it would be much easier to add a slight glow digitally.
I kept my brushstrokes much looser for the background, which was a good choice because I was at my wits end trying to blend semi-transparent layers of gouache. Now I am faced with the task of going back and refining the multitude of feathers. I think the best choice for me at this point is to start my next painting and work on this one at the same time, which will push forward both of their completion dates. In the end, I think I will be just as productive, if not more.