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Putting the Red in Red-Tailed

This hawk may be a miniature, but it still requires maximum effort.

By: Al Jordan

Al Jordan lives in Rochester, New York, where he is a master falconer. He was the North American shorebird champion in 2008 and the IWCA Shorebird Champion in 2010. Al is also an instructor and judge and the author of Wildfowl Carving Magazine’s Half-Size Osprey Workbench Project. Learn about Al’s classes and one-on-one instruction at (585) 227-2235, www.ajordanbirds.com.

In part one from the last issue of Wildfowl Carving Magazine, I demonstrated how to carve a life-size red-tailed hawk. Now, I’m going to demonstrate how to paint this species, but this time, I’ll be using a half-sized bird with inserts for the primaries. The process is basically the same for both carvings, regardless of their sizes. There’s a great deal of diversity in the appearance of individual red-tailed hawks. Their coloring can depend on the time of year, the lighting conditions when you observe them, the birds’ diets, their ages, the climate, and other factors. So there’s no absolute “right” way to paint this hawk. You just have to try for the effect you want to achieve within the basic guidelines. The paint strategy I outline here will show you how I approach this magnificent raptor.

This article is from the Spring 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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