I am working on some paper clay pieces of birds that I love. A flicker and an American Robin. The Flicker is a illusive bird that usually stays pretty hidden, while the Robin is just the opposite. I often work on two similar projects at a time...sometimes three. I can bounce back and forth between them while one is drying. And it helps me stay focused on the project at hand.
When it is time to paint them, I begin by painting the "star of the show"...and then paint anything else that should be a particular color. Like the leaves, fruit, branches, etc. Usually, that leaves me with just the background to paint. And that can be a problem.
The obvious choice in somewhat realistic scenes like these is sky blue.
But the robin felt too plain. So after sleeping on it, I repainted the background yellow, like the sky in the early morning. And I think it looked a lot better because it made the robin and the berries stand out more.
Sometimes I will repaint the background several times trying to find the right color. And then I layer colors over each other to make it less solid. I still may add some more color to this. In my studio, nothing is ever finished until it's sold.