A smattering of background. The piece is mantled at this point; I need to decide exactly how much more I want to add. A value change is in order, but executing it is going to be nerve-wracking.
Probably about two hours work to finish the primaries, secondaries, and those decorative back feathers:
About an hour and a half of refining:
And another hour and a half. This part was particularly difficult to render; keeping track of the abstract shapes is very mentally straining, and I tried to take as few breaks as possible.
With the background mostly roughed in at this point, I spent about an hour and a half detailing the bird, focusing more on rendering the anatomy than on getting the light/shadow pattern:
And this is the finished piece. This is a scan; the background color is much closer irl to the photos above, and the reds are a little too bright.
I covered the background with a reddish-brown mix. Then I roughly blocked-in the bird. Next came a blueish layer over background, painting in a few branches negatively.