Despite the lack of posts, we are still plugging away. We have quite a formidable flock.
"Fat Over Lean" is one of those rules of which I didn't understand the necessity before actually doing the opposite. I always just imagined Jack Sprat with his wife plopped down on top of him eating a plate full of "no lean." That's not what the rule is talking about. Oil doesn't dry out between brush strokes like acrylic. This means that if you have a thick layer of, say, dark green and you want to go back over it and add touches of light green highlights, it's not going to work. When you delicately touch your brush of light on that field of thick dark, it's just going to get all mixed up and messy. I've read there are also long term repercussion such as cracking of paint and other similarly dismal disasters. I am so glad da Vinci followed the Fat Over Lean rule on Mona Lisa's lips.
Some of my better birds include my little Carolina Chickadee and my Yellow-breasted Chat. James has a Bronzed Cowbird that I like so much I've asked him not to give it away.