A Baltimore Oriole, Part Two
Tom Park paints the oriole he carved for the Winter 2010 issue.
Once you’ve mounted the bird on the branch, touch-ups become more difficult, so I go over the bird carefully as a last step. I place the oriole on a turntable and turn it slowly at arm’s length as I look for areas that need attention. I find it useful to put the carving aside for a while and come back to it later. Often I find things that I missed on the first inspection.
In the last issue, I carved the Baltimore oriole, did the texturing and sealing, and finally coated the bird with gesso. I did the sealing with Deft brushing lacquer, after thinning it with lacquer thinner—60% Deft lacquer and 40% lacquer thinner. I used a fairly thin mix for the gesso coats. Rather than risk filling in the texturing, I opted for five thin coats.
The paints I used were acrylics from ChromaColour, Liquitex, and Golden. The color mixes described here are approximate percentages. I like to test the colors on white paper before applying them to the bird. Even then you might find that some adjustments are necessary after you apply the first coat.
I don't use a wide assortment of brushes. Basically, I work with a good wash brush (three-eighths inch for a bird this size), a one-half inch filbert brush, and two or three detailing brushes. My favorite brush for fine detail is the Leow-Cornel 7020 ultra round in #2 size. I like a slightly stiffer brush for the gesso coats so I can scrub the gesso into the texturing.
This article is from the Spring 2010 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.