This little guy was done as an experiment on black paper. I often use a black ink wash for a background on white paper since I have had trouble in the past with getting the intense color that I want. This time I did a value study in shades of white and light grays - I think it worked well. For me, it was a little like drawing in reverse - I had to think about creating more light when I usually concentrate on creating darks.
I also decided to combine the black of the bird with the black background - it tricks your eye into seeing the whole bird even though the only place I used black was on the bottom of his beak. It was not something that I planned and was pleasantly surprised when I finished his chest and saw the effect. I love when that happens!
This is colored pencil done on Strathmore Bristol, 9 x 12 inches.