From a quick photo taken out the kitchen window, a mama bluejay feeding a baby. This one shows both of them but not the actual feeding (didn't care that much for that photo as a future painting).
I printed out the photo to 5 x 7 inches and then, taking a half sheet of tracing paper, I drew the image on the tracing paper. Then traced the drawing onto watercolor paper (a half sheet Arches 140# coldpress).
Before I began painting the background, I used Winsor Newton Texture Medium on the branches to give them more oomph.
After that dried, the background was painted.
Although I'm calling this Blue Jays in Spring, we are not really having spring - or just a few hours in between snow squalls. This has been the strangest spring season yet for us and one doesn't know whether to put on a coat, a jacket, or a teeshirt. I guess it could be worse. We are, at least, not having feet of snow dumped on us (like they are in the northern plains). I keep thinking spring will come...but what if it doesn't? I ordered some Heirloom vegetable seeds for my Mom to plant - we may have them late this year as we are still having frost warnings at night. OK, enough complaining. I am lucky in so many ways and looking out on the mini-blizzard of snowflakes is actually very beautiful.