I always choose my colours before I start to paint. I tried to match the parrot's colours as best I could. Unfortunately, there are no colours that compare with the Rainbow Lorikeet's beautiful plumage. However, I chose Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Blue for the blues, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange for the oranges, Cadmium Yellow Deep and Permanent Rose for the beak and lastly some Chrome Green Hue and Lemon for greens.
So these are the colours I picked out for the bird and will be the colours for a complementary background.
I dabbed in all the darks first in all the combinations of blue/green colours. I shaped some of these dabs into leaves and varied the shapes. Then I added some mid-tones of yellows, and lighter blue/greens. Lastly, to "feather" it all off, I chose the lightest colours using white and lemon.
With a dry, soft, wide brush, I lightly used a criss-cross action to go over the entire background, softening and pushing it back for that out-of-focus look.
I can always add more darks or highlights later after the bird is completed if needed.