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Paint - Varnish - Tools - Flocking etc...

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by sdkidaho, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Northeast Missouri
    Don, no one an argue your success. When I first started 30+ years ago I did so with tube acrylics, easy to use water cleanup, no fumes I thought it was a the answer to a maidens prayer. All along I had been collecting antique decoys going to decoy shows from coast to coast. I very much admired how the best of the old guys were able to wet blend and comb their colors. I quickly discovered that acrylics did not allow that. I tried using wash after wash after wash and still couldn’t get what I wanted.

    Marty Hansen as been a close personal friend of mine for 20+ years. I have spent hours and hours watching him paint a complete bird wet on wet. He has a talent that is God given, much like yours Don. I have been wet blending my birds for about the past 15 years and have become decent, not good but it satisfys me. I only do hunting birds and the ducks don’t really care what your blocks look like, thank the Lord.
     
  2. slough hunter

    slough hunter Refuge Member

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    Dec 25, 2018
    A year ago I said I would never touch oils again. I have since changed my opinion drastically. I'm probably alot more patient than I was a handful of years ago which has probably helped alot. The last few birds I have painted with oils i have enjoyed quite a bit. It all comes down to personal preference and the look your going for. To me a decoy is someones impression of what a certain duck looks like. Every carver will see something different and use different techniques to achieve it.
     
    rhpierce and WHUP ! Hen like this.
  3. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    slough hunter, I would like to see a group of 10 guys that had 10 identical Mallard bodies and heads cut out and without any assistance from the others carve and paint the birds and have a show when everyone was finished. Assuming that everyone had some talent, I would bet that would not be a bird that was close to identical to another bird.

    Every carver has in his minds eye what a Mallard should look like, I think you would have 10 different interpretations and none would be wrong.
     
  4. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Elite Refuge Member

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    Central MN
    That’s true. My carving club does a club project each year. The first year I participated the project was a Bufflehead. That year they gave out the pattern but the head and body were already cut out on the bandsaw.

    With a couple of exceptions (some guys do their best to copy another members carvings) they were dramatically different.

    I celebrate the differences. I like that I can walk through a show or go to a club meeting and identify who’s birds are on the table. The joy of hand carved and finished is the differences.
     
    WHUP ! Hen likes this.
  5. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Elite Refuge Member

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    I do think it’s important to have mentors or carving partners to share ideas with and get tips from. There are things that I do with my birds to set them apart. The heavy exaggerated brow and deep eye Chanel’s. Chip carving the wooden birds etc. but I know there are others that do similar treatments.

    Tom Fleming is the president of my carving club. The way I paint my primary feathers was adapted from a demonstration he did.

    The way I blend the paint on my bluebill heads as well as the way I paint the back of my bluebill drakes was adapted from a Pat Gregory video.

    We grab ideas and methods from each other. When I did the Ruddy duck I’m working in now I bounced the pattern as well as shared the carved bird with my mentor and asked opinions and ideas. He is also doing a Ruddy Duck, it is identifiable as a ruddy, but looks nothing like mine does.

    It’s all part of the game. It’s why we all have a dozen books by different carvers.
     
    WHUP ! Hen likes this.
  6. Woodduck31

    Woodduck31 Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Idaho
    shared experience with others is another tool in the box. I learned to mold from Tom Rowe, learned how to make a hollow wood hunting decoys from Bob Mitchell, learned where to start with foamers from Flutteringwings here on the decoy forum, learned woodworking from my dad, learned how to work with plastic from Elmer Ott (the plastics teacher at the university where my dad worked), I learned how to paint from my mom. None of us just fell off the turnip truck. We are all a combination of our experiences and teaching by others, probably the most important component in our tool box.
     
  7. reddogge

    reddogge Senior Refuge Member

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    Apr 18, 2020
    Location:
    Finksburg, MD
    This is exactly why I love antique decoy collecting and carving working decoys. Everyone has a different idea of how they see a duck and how to bring that vision into reality with whatever skills they have. And this has been going on for 130 years.
     
  8. liv2hnt

    liv2hnt Refuge Member

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Location:
    Baker County, Oregon
    Would paint/process recommendations be the same for somebody re-finishing commercial decoys? I have a number of re-painting projects waiting to be started but I find myself being so indecisive on how to proceed that I end up doing nothing. This is a great thread and I appreciate all the knowledge and information being shared.
     
  9. reddogge

    reddogge Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Finksburg, MD
    I recently stumbled on something to take the sheen off of varnish on hunting decoys. I've always put a coat of varnish on mine since the 80s. I paint with Ronan and Rustoleam oils and a few tube colors and they needed sealing or they scuffed a lot. Unfortunately, I can't remember what I used back then. The two gadwalls I just finished had too much of a sheen to them after even a matte varnish.

    I used pumice powder and Watco Danish Oil and using a rag on my finger dipped lightly into the Danish Oil and then the pumice powder and rubbed this onto the decoys until it cut the sheen. It worked also with BLO instead of the Danish. After drying the decoys were flat and no high spots got rubbed bare like if you used 0000 steel wool.

    I may try next to hand rub my next bunch with matte varnish with just a little on a rag and then wipe off. The brushed on varnish tended to get shiny.
     
    dog duck gun likes this.
  10. reddogge

    reddogge Senior Refuge Member

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    Finksburg, MD
    This concerns Modern Masters dead flat varnish.

    I had this below with no answers so I moved it up here hoping someone has tried Modern Masters over oil.
     

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