I painted the lady cardinal above in class with Ronna Fujisawa of SaltyWaterArt. (Look her up if you're interested in Zoom bird painting classes.)
Ronna always gets great backruns or blooms in her backgrounds. Mine are usually just a mess but i like how this background turned out. Makes me think of frost.
This one I painted on my own. She looks a little dubious!
And the last one I painted after a class with Ian de Hoog. Ian gets beautiful washes and mixes in his birds. He's got some tutorials on YouTube on topics liker color mixing.