Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wooden Rooster

If anyone can remember back about 2 years ago, I've posted up here about a wooden structure that I've painted.  A wooden bird with a lobster cage-like body that I've found while out walking in my neighbourhood. It took a while to finish as I used oil paints and they have among the longest drying times of paints, especially red oil paint with linseed oil.

Well, I've finally completed another side project that I started a long while ago that's similar.  There was a wooden chicken standee that's been stashed in the family basement for a long time. Can't remember how we got it, from an auction out by Colborne, ON maybe.  I can remember that the turnoff from the HWY 401 was by the Big Apple venue where they got a giant apple building attraction.  Anyways, back to the bird...

I've rediscover it while cleaning up our storage in the basement.  With the idea of us of having that eventual rummage sale (soon maybe), I thought that decorating this wooden chicken standee would help fetch a better price.  I washed and sanded the standee down and after allowing it to dry out, primed and treated it with double-boiled linseed oil (I still have that bottle of it that I bought years ago for sculpture classes, nearly empty now).

 Next, much like how you would lightly paint-wash a canvas, laying out your composition, I painted in where I want the base colours to be. It started as completely white all over except the base, then once that dried in a few days, carefully painted red the comb (the crown on top) and side wattles.

It took a long time waiting for the paint to dry with each session I did. Been over a year in fact.  I was painting in layers and had to wait for the paint to not smear around, getting muddy with the new paint layers.  I masked off areas with masking tape to help keep the edges clean, especially with the wattles, wings and base. Sometimes I would put the standee aside for several weeks when I did other things.  For layering after the white undercoat, I went with an orange head and hackle, dark green chest and hock, dark blue saddle feathers, yellow beak and feet and mahogany wings.

After those layers dried, I added the highlights and gradients with a feathery texture.  For the base, I used a small tin of Minwax PolyShades (it's a stain & protective polyurethane varnish for wooden furniture and works).  Polyurethane is a new medium for me but I've gotten the hang of it. I had to use some on another job with revarnishing the top of our coffee table. Multiple absences of placemats and coasters plus cigarette burns from Dad's smoking.

Lastly with finishing touches, I glued it two decorative domed-cap nails for its eyes and sprayed on a couple coats of clear varnish all over the rooster.  I wanted to avoid washing linseed oil as a protective coat as my goose started to look a bit too yellowish.  The rooster is proudly standing on my bedside table for now.  I might store it back in the basement beside the Canadian Goose later.

As much as beautifully the rooster turned out in the end like the goose, I don't want to get into painting any new wooden structures.  With having more time for exterior ventures like employment opportunities, I'm going to get more into my professional line of work.  However I hate leaving things on the back burner of my mind, having started these things to have something to keep busy with while nursing my Dad throughout the day and wanting now to clear them off to push myself forward onto new things.

I think this was the last side project I had in the works.  Now it just making promos for freelancing and getting through my Udemy classes. Also some reading books that I've been meaning to get to.  

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