Originally I had planned this piece to be 24" X 36." A fine size. But the more I thought about it, I knew the impact would be substantially greater if I made the painting 30" X 45." That appears like a small change, (it is only 6 inches taller), but the surface area is actually more than 50% larger!
If you look below at the detail photo, you can see I strategically kept the underlying color alive by leaving it resonating next to the areas of heavily covered oil paint.
As most wildlife painters can attest, making the eyes feel alive is a critical element in a successful painting. I've opted to have the sunlit eye looking directly at the viewer so it will appear to follow one around the room.