(Lost a few hours this morning to the needs of the holiday.)
The Stellar Jay took a few days.
As its been a year since I did the originals, my feel for the colour and feather structure had to come from the first piece. When someone asks you for some thing "like the one we bought" you're never sure whether they really mean just that. But I did my best.
Behind the cartoon I slipped an narrow piece of canvas to stabilize all the stitching. Some areas are going to receive multiple passes.
I used one of the blues to mark out the feathers and then did the head. The grey was pretty obvious. There are 3 shades of grey here.
A few passes with black, shaded the head and defined the lower beak.
More Blues and some blue feathers in the top knot.
Altogether there were 6 different blues used. Then I cut it away from the backing and the canvas.
And stitched to the prepared background. All the edges were then "feathered" with appropriate colour to hide the edges of the canvas and to thoroughly anchor the bird to the branch.
A little binding and this piece will be away to the Netherlands tomorrow.