Some areas and figures in the Hallowell mural went in solidly after long and careful planning. However, the birds near the top of the mural started as an abstract concept in my head–I wanted birds but somehow abstracted birds, perhaps out of folded paper, flying in front of a realistic scene. I did sketch in the drawing pad, which is the only sane way to plan a section of a mural. But what can I say, sometimes I like to just jump in with paint and see what happens.
These are some phases of how these birds evolved over time. I am pretty sure they are almost done. Sad to see some of the birds that fly in then fly out again, but the mural has to be the final judge of what stays. And as I have found, something that disappears from one painting often shows up in another.