Once the paper was stretched and completely dry, I taped the borders using white artist's tape. The idea is to give a clean border, but paint always manages to sneak underneath the tape in some places. Still, it gives me a reasonably tidy edge.
You can see that I've masked a few areas -- a large section along the beak and smaller dots that will become the centers of highlights. I used Winsor-Newton colorless masking fluid which I started using after reading a post by Connie Williams on masking techniques. I have to give a shout out to Connie -- although I've been using masking fluid for ages, I learned several valuable tricks from her tutorial. I absolutely love the Winsor-Newton product, although my old favorite -- Incredible White Mask -- is still the perfect choice for some of the abstract work I do. (A note about brushes for masking fluid. I like Cheap Joe's Uggly brushes, but you can use any inexpensive synthetic brush. I find the white synthetic brushes are best. For some reason, they withstand the masking fluid better than standard tan brushes. I always use dish detergent to prep the brush and I rinse it frequently in a bucket of soapy water.)
I've also put in the first pass on the body color. This is the point at which I invariably despair, but I know from experience that I can resolve the problems with further washes.
See you soon with the next installment.