While keeping my hands off the Shaker still life painting (I don't pick it up unless I'm relaxed and ready to think more than paint while looking at it), I've begun something else, using some reference photos sent to me by my friend, Sharon.
I put down the sections using white artist's tape, then decided to play with the sections so put down torn pieces of masking tape here and there to create a rhythm. Then I traced the photo references onto tracing paper, and played with placement of the pieces of tracing paper, ending up with the three elements I have here.
Next step, a wet wash of colors, playing with pinks and reds behind the birds. I miskited off parts of feathers, claws, eyes, etc. to save them and painted around them as much as I could, watching out for drips. I also painted inside the birds' mouths that were open with the same pinks/reds, and then took a large flat and just stroked an orange-pink color over some of the horizontal bits of masking tape.
At this point, there are 3 distinct sections and there's nothing in the 4th section.
So after the paint dried, I drew in a single feather in that 4th section.