Some birds headed to Westlake

I haven't posted in some time, mostly becuase I've been working on competition birds, and I don't like posting them while I am competeing them. The good news is that I'm doing ok in the competitions. I won second best in show for gunning birds with my low head mallard at the Core Sound contest in December. In February I headed down to San Diego for the PSWA show. I ended up placing in the best of marsh, but my standard head mallard didn't make it any further. Then it sold so that bird is done competing. 

I'm headed to Westlake, OH tomorrow for the ODCCA show. I've got some birds to compete in the pool and the IWCA tank, but here are few birds I'm bringing just to display and sell. One of these is going into the Firday night swim and sell, sponsored by the, and other will be displayed in Dwane Ong and Tom Matus' room 123. Stop by and check them out if you are at the show.


Drake Mallard

Here's a drake mallard I carved recently. It's made from tan cork and the head is carved from white cedar. I painted it with acrylic paints. I'm especially happy with how the iridescent look of the head came out. 

A couple more wigeon

Here are a couple more wigeon that I've been working on. I just finished them up last night. They are both the same low-head pattern that I've done a few of. One of them has simulated raised primary feathers. The other has a smooth back. 

 Here's the simulated raised primaries bird:


And here is the smooth-back gunner:


Some of my 2010 Westlake Decoys

Here's a couple of the birds I brought to Westlake with me. This first mallard was for the gunning bird contest on Sunday. The rules are very strict about carved detail so I carved the primary feathers to appear as if they were raised, even though they are not individually carved. It took third place in mallards. I hoped to do better, but it did pretty good considering there were over 20 birds in the pool.

Here's the birds all sealed up before paint.

And here it is painted.

Here's another mallard I entered in the Saturday IWCA contest. This type of contest allows for more carved and painted detail. This mallard took third best in marsh.

California Open Results

I sent a couple mallards to the California Open show last weekend. They were both entered into the working decoy category. I didn't have anything quite ready for the IWCA Style contest. I took 1st and 2nd in mallards and the drake went on to win 2nd best of marsh. I don't have any pictures of the birds with ribbons on though because both of them were sold at the show. Now I need to get carving since I don't have any working birds ready for the pool contest at Westlake.

Here's a picture that I got from the show though. Thanks Grant

A couple of firsts

This latest decoy represents a couple of firsts for me. For one, I've never done a black duck before. Secondly, this is my first decoy painted entirely in oil paints. I've been strictly an acrylic paint user up until this point. I was intrigued by some of the soft blends I've seen with oil paints so I decided to give them a try. Oil paints sure do behave differently than the acrylics I'm used to. There's some things I really liked about using the oil paint, but there were many more things I did not like. It's probably just a matter of getting used to the different techniques needed to use oils. I'm not giving up, but I'm certainly not going to give up my acrylics yet.

This bird actually started off as a mallard hen. I had a very simple, but very cool feather and paint layout that I was really liking. Then I had to go and try to "improve" it and things did not go well. I eventually decided just to paint it up as a very simply black duck to try to get a better feel for the oils. I'm pretty happy with the outcome now.

You can see some additional photos in the black duck gallery