My so-called crow survived his hip-replacement last night. After looking at dozens of photographs, I finally had a better idea where his legs ought to be so that he didn't tip over. Unfortunately, I missed the part about straight tail feathers!
For a painting with any degree of detail, this texturing is too coarse, The pastels barely stick, and get very smeary if I try to smoosh them into the paper. (Thanks to Denise R, though, for the suggestions about pipe insulation. It definitely saved my finger tips!)
I also learned first-hand about the complains pastellists have about fixative. It definitely blurs and dulls one's image. I applied fixative to try to keep the pastel from flaking off, but if you compare closely, you can see below how the fixative obscures some of the more delicate strokes.
I'm trying to come up with an image for our Christmas card. I like what I learned about pastels and color with this... but it just seems awfully Seasons Greetings-ish and corporate rather than festive, fun or merry.
The Della Robia wreath, below, is apparently beyond my rendering skill. There are parts that I like ( I used terra cotta Wallas paper this time), but over all, I believe I will see how much pastel I can scrub off with a dry paint brush.... (see addiction/cost reference above!!) ... and try something completely different.