I’m attempting to predict reactions to this week’s production: mallards. Before I started on this project, when I needed to paint a duck, I’d usually default to mallards or white ducks, because while I could have done them up as something more interesting, it would have run the risk of confusing people. People expect their ducks to be mallards, just like they expect ducklings to be yellow or yellow and brown, and they expect ducks to have orange feet and so on. Those ducks were not the centre of attention for the models they accompanied, so I didn’t want to detract by throwing some exotic South American breed in there.
At last, however, I have capitulated. Behold: mallards.
If you look closely, you’ll also see a yellow and brown wee duckling nestled between them.
I was actually hoping for the foliage to be a little leafier and more varied, but someone (Martin) came by to do some hobby and just used all of my paper ferns. These will do, however. They are brass, so I need to be careful not to touch them lest the paint come loose, throwing off the whole illusion.
Up next is a variety I’ve been keen to do for a while: wood ducks. Back in 2012, PBS in the States made a documentary about ducks called “A Duckumentary” (which you can watch on Daily Motion over here). Awful name aside, the stars of that documentary were some wood ducks, which are both colourful and interesting to look at (well, the drakes are – the females are, well, brown, which you’ll notice is pretty common among ducks) and quite characterful. Wood ducks make their nests in the hollows of trees, 30 feet or more in the air. When the ducklings are ready to leave the nest, they make a leap of faith and plummet to the ground. Thankfully, ducklings are quite bouncy and the ground is very soft.
Anyway, I’ll be attempting to recreate this, albeit without the ridiculous height – sometimes you just have to sacrifice absolute realism.
The female isn’t in place yet, just the drake, a couple of ducklings will be peeking out from their nest, and a third will be plummeting towards its mother. That’s the plan, anyway.
Finally, when Martin came by the other day to steal all of my paper ferns, he also had me take some photos of his stuff. You might recall that we had a challenge to paint the Latorre pirate bust and here we finally have a photo of the two together:
I’m sure you’ll agree that Martin’s is truly awful.