Cock Robin - Early designs

Above is my initial attempt at a Cock Robin design, started a couple of months ago and never finished. I became very dissatisfied with the image, I think the composition is too static and overcrowded, the Robin and Sparrow become a bit lost, and had I painted them in, that would only be exacerbated. I think I also put too much work into the leaf border and the thorns.

Now this is the starting sketch for a new version of the same image, much more compositionally dynamic and not bogged down in the same focus on 'design' work, which I think only weighed the previous attempt down. These images are fairly small, and in a book I would like them to practically be miniatures, so I think this more focused and yet more open approach will better serve the simple drama of the song. I'm intending this to be a painting without the same kind of line work I would have used in the first piece. I'm starting to get a real taste for using a more painterly style, as I did in 'Spring Tide'.