Here's a bit more of the crow I began using white gesso on watercolor paper. Put the colors in the bird. He looks a bit scary, not having an eye yet.
I like the "texture" that shows hints of feathers and shapes and I can lift back to white or pale colors on the gessoed part. I haven't begun the background yet but I have some ideas about that (thinking of using some irridescent copper I bought from Daniel Smith and have never used).
The crow, being shaped with the gesso, stands out from the background.
I'm still working on my collage, too. The hardest part may be finding papers that are dark enough to use in the crow body.