I made some more progress on the Phoenix today, here is where I am at right now.
Step by step of how I got here follows.
I am continuing to layer color and think out some of the detail.
I added more color to the background and layered some cadmium red in the wings.
I noticed the right wing was a little different from the left so I painted over it with white to correct it. I also decided to try blue flames for the circle, I'm still not sure if I like the ring at all.
This is always the stage where you second guess everything and self doubt starts to creep in. I just have to fight through it and keep painting. It's funny how paintings are like a battle, I have an idea in my mind but the painting never comes out exactly like that idea. Usually I hate it when I'm done because of that and then a couple months later I'll look at it and love it. The preconceived idea is gone and I can look at it in a more unbiased manner.
The Phoenix is at that stage now where it is about at the end of the sketch phase. Now I will need to refine my shapes and add detail and shadow.