From this stage, you can see what intrigued me so much with this bird's behavior. The loon has grabbed a tiny crab. Since all the loons I have seen prior to this one were in fresh water, I never thought of crustaceans as part of their diet.
Usually I start with the head of a bird and work outward. On this painting I began by painting the parts of the loon touching the water. This helped me "settle" the bird in the scene.