After working up the background a bit more, I have now begun to further develop the hood ornament itself.
I shot several source photos of this hood ornament at a car show two years ago, all of which I am able to use, despite the fact that each of them are under different lighting conditions. When I shot the reference photos for this, I kept wondering around to different cars, but kept returning to this same car as the sun was going deeper and deeper into the horizon. So my reference shots are a range of cool, overcast light, to sun breaking through the clouds, to full scale silhouetted subject at dusk.
I could have made this simply a silhouette composition with all the emphasis on a dramatic sky, but I didn’t go that way because I wanted to play up the interesting interior shapes of the hood ornament itself.
So the most important things to decide on for next time are the value to use for the darkest shadows, and, the color that will be reflected in the middle tones. There are little to no highlights, but the one or two that are there, will be placed last.
Basically I could, at the next stage, go with a variation of cool colors in the middle tones and make this thing look really metallic (which it is), but that would be totally unrealistic for such a back-lit subject with such a warm sky. I noticed that in one of my last reference shots for this, there’s an awful lot of warmth in the middle tones, so I think I’ll go that direction and see if it works.
Let you know next time!