Red Tail Hawk WIP

Normally I am not the biggest fan of backgrounds, but felt that I needed to get this one in so I could overlap the feather work where needed and also get some more color in to judge the color of the hawk itself.  Once I got it in I got excited as I felt it start to snap a bit and pull together outlining where I think I am going.
So before I mowed the grass I got that background in fairly quickly, using five shades of pastel.  And then, because I didn't melt at 94 degrees, this afternoon I started to work under the beak and finished around the eye.  I will now work from left to right trying to protect and not disturb that pastel.  I might get brave and try to fix it since I am not really concerned that I keep the actual colors (if it changes it darker I don't think that would be a problem).    I know the mat board won't take many more layers and I will probably need hit it again to keep it from getting that flat look.  So a light spray of workable fixative might be just the answer.  I have never been a person to use fixatives in my pastels but like everything am sure there is a correct technique and time to do so.
Funny, since I started this hawk we have had a daily visit from our smallest Cooper hawk.  We hadn't seen him/her in a while and now it makes a daily morning trip to the yard.  Yesterday he scared the begeebies out of Chippie (one of our chipmunks) and today he startled a male cardinal who managed to get to a tree.  They are gorgeous creatures but I am always glad when everyone survives their visits.
Thanks for stopping by and hoping you are getting ready for Father's Day, this weekend.


I am not sure that the background colors are working - from the photo at any rate. It could be better in person but the beak, which you did such a good job on has almost disappeared in the photo. My first thought when I saw this today was 'Oh no!' - just my opinion!

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