Let us look at the Olduvai 2 mural, layer by layer…
The scene at olduvai Bed 2 was more complex than the previous ones, with the enormous carcass of an elephant becoming the focus of considerable activity by hominins and other creatures, which have to take turns at the “table”. But we viewers cannot take turns: I have to show everything at the same time, so the scene gets quickly crowded. But hey, I have been here sooo many times before… it is the paleoartist’s daily bread to deal with the need to pack too many contents in one single scene so that all the main scientific findings made at one particular fossil site can be seen by the viewers in a single glance. I cannot say I am comfortable with this kind of packed recreations, but certainly I have got used to them!
But, ah, the process is always painful, and you have to use all your composition tricks (perspective, use of landscape elements to create “sections” in the scene…) so that the final painting does not get completely choked with all that is happening in it!
You can see the layer-by-layer structure of this digital painting in my latest YouTube video: