This is the second oldest drawing of mine that I will show you. I had trouble with birds until a wonderful little bird flew into my life. After a few years of study, I felt confident enough to try drawing gryphons. If you're not familiar with gryphons, they are bizarre creatures with the front half of a bird and the rear half of a feline. Why does this gryphon have a mane and a crest? The usual answer: I felt like it. The rear half should be identifiable as something lion-like, but exactly what bird did I have in mind when I drew this? I think it was a combination of a phoenix and a mallard duck (thus the green-brown feathers).
This was originally done in colored pencil, but I then smudged the shield in Photoshop and added the gryphon logo.