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One of the main themes of this painting is the similarity of the colors of the Hawk and the Cypress forest. As a predator it is well camouflaged. Therefore, I painted the Hawk first so that I could adjust the shadows and colors of the trees with respect to the Hawk. I tried to strike a balance between several elements. First, if the hawk’s camouflage is working it shouldn’t stand out too much from the background. Second, I don’t want the cypress trees to overwhelm the hawk. Finally, I don’t want the trees to look like nothing but a background for the hawk. Cypress trees are beautiful in their own right and represent another theme of the painting.