Here’s Rudy, my daughter’s cross-bred, feather footed bantam rooster, now immortalised in oils.

chook, chicken, rooster, oil painting, art
25x35cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

We’ve had chooks since our “tree change” almost nine years ago but this is the first time I’ve painted one. I’ve taken lots of photos of them over the years but was never inspired enough to commit one to paint until now. Mind you, the Canon 1100D DSLR camera does make the task a little easier than my old point-and-shoot digicam did.

Here’s the three main stages in the painting process…

step by step oil painting, chook, rooster

I used a “wash-in then wipe-out” method to achieve the highlight areas in the stage one under-painting. I gave the whole board a random wash of burnt sienna thinned with mineral spirits and a lean medium. Then I washed in some darker ares with burnt sienna and ultramarine. I threw a little viridian in too, for variety and to contrast with the reds. With an abstract background in place, I added the major shadow areas for Rudy using the same colours, plus permanent crimson (a cool red). Then I dipped a cloth in turps and wiped out some of the main highlight areas.

This set the stage for the rest of the painting and gave me an opportunity to check proportions and positioning. You may be able to tell that Rudy grew a little taller and thinner after the stage one photo was taken.