The design of this painting came fully formed out of my head -- it doesn't usually happen that way but sometimes it does. I'm pretty sure it comes from an image I've seen before. Maybe a painting, maybe an illustration, maybe an ancient Chinese watercolor scroll -- I don't know.
I placed all the major elements on the canvas in paint, then refined the tree limbs, then found a few sparrow reference photos to refine the birds. I kept the neutral color palette but just had to add my signature spots or squares to the plain background (hey, it works).
I think the bird on top is the winner. Is that how that works?