The final stages of my painting are about finesse. At this point I'm adding the final bits of texture, and enhancing the shadows and highlights. The colors have settled where they want to be, but I'll fine tune them as well. In the photo below you can see the texture of the hair and horns, and the depth in the eye. Depending on the piece, I don't always worry about every singe portion being finely detailed. As you will see in the last photo, this painting is a mixture of loose and tight painting styles.
The full photo below does not do the painting justice. This painting is very vibrant (as seen above). It has a sharp contrast between the darks and lights, and the lights really shine. In person, you can also see the subtle shifts in the shadow, such as the soft highlight on the bison's right eye).
It was challenging to keep going forward, not feeling totally confident about the dark background and shadow, but it just felt right, and I'm really happy with the way it came out.
The very last things I do on a painting are to clean up the sides, take photos, add varnish, and put on a wire. At this point, if I have not already named the painting I will do so. If you are interested in the specific naming of this piece take a look at this post on my Instagram account.
And if you want to read about the first steps of this painting visit Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 on my blog.