Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rudy - a chook in oil

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.


  1. Andy, I really like this painting a lot. An everyday subject brought to life by your brush, it's very good!

  2. Thanks Barbara. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out. So much so that I'm thinking I'll have to try another chook painting next weekend.

  3. ok
    as a painting this looks to be really good
    but next time
    when you take the photo bend your knees and get down the the chooks level
    :) :) :)
    hey want to see my new jarrah floor
    its the closest i have got to oils
    no comments about the photography :)

  4. What? You've met me. I don't need to bend my knees to get down to a chook's level. I needed a step ladder to get this view!


    (how come when I click on your pic links, all I see is an orchid?)

  5. i am guessing you went to the front page
    with orange links to my other pages to the right

    cut and paste
    and you should go to the floor blog
    i hope

    how did the step ladder hold up