Initially I had a hard time getting started on this one. The source materials were quite varied and I couldn't decide what look to go for. Finally I decided to just start something and see what happened.
After a few watercolor washes and a couple of details were added, everything started to go a little more smoothly. Until mud happened. That oh-so-easy-to-achieve state where all the colors start to turn into brown/gray mush. I kind of panicked, made a spur of the moment decision, and in the process of trying to cover up the mud, just ended up with a bigger mess. Think mud on top of mud.
The result is below. I did not originally plan for the background to be black or for the shadow to be there. They are both byproducts of the panicking and covering up process.
I was so intent on fixing the "mud" issue that I paid no attention to the correct placement of the shadow. If you're thinking to yourself that something about the shape is off I totally agree. I would like to go back and fix it, but I think I need to just step back from this one for a while before trying to "fix" things again. In the spirit of continuing my project and not getting stuck on Mercury I am going to go ahead and share it.
Thoughts and suggestions are most welcome!
Onward to Venus!