I had some fun sketching chickens in my backyard yesterday!
I'm still using my #12 Squirrel Blick Master brush. It's still shedding slightly, which is starting to concern me. Normal for a painting or 2, but then it should stop shedding
Work fast, do lots and lots of pencil sketches! Painting the watercolor chickens is fun, but if you don't have the sketches right, they're not going to look good.
Behind each painting I paint are a ton of photos, pencil sketches and watercolor sketches. You have to see the essence of your subject, not just the first impression.