Well, I went in with some grayed colors - halftones is what Jeanne Dobie calls them in her book. But I think I went too dark in places and it just looked muddy.
So my usual way to deal with this is just go darker and richer in the background...which is what I did. But I still don't like it. Needing critiques and comments to help me through this one - perhaps I'll start over and try to stay very high key with this one...which was the assignment for the color group that I didn't seem able to do. High key is so hard for me!
Now that I see the first one again, I don't hate it as much as I did when I saw it after the bg dried. I should have just lifted some of the bg negative shapes and dropped in other colors and let it be...each painting is another lesson!