ILLUS 220 Finals: The Bird-men explaining to the Empress the nature of the Heavens

This is another of my finals for the book The Description Of The New World Called The Blazing World for my uni project.

In this scene the Bird-men, who have been tasked by the Empress as her astronomers, are tasked with explaining to her their reckoning as to the nature of the Sun, Moon and stars.

An earlier version without acrylic textures added and some contrast fixes

I wanted them to look like quirky old professors, trying to sound authoritative, when really most of their knowledge is composed of short sighted observations and daft conclusions. 
     I kept a restricted colour palette as in the past I've often used too many colours in one painting. Looking back at it now though I think I could have improved the painting by differentiating the characters more with colour.

some bits from my sketchbook:

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