View Full Version : Decoy attitudes

04-14-2003, 09:11 PM
I have some mallard heads that I have been carving and I'm ready to set the eye's on them. I have looked at alot of different carvings and have noticed alot of different "attitudes" on them. Some look down right mean and some look pretty darn happy.My question is, how do you create the different attitudes? Is it how the eyes are set? How deep you carve the channels? Crease's around the eye? Or all of the above?
I have a couple of books and video's and read a ton of stuff on the net but have'nt seen a whole lot of info on this.
Any help or thoughts on this would be appreciated....Thanks.:cool: :cool:

04-16-2003, 09:30 PM
Anybody????:CU: :CU:

04-17-2003, 05:33 AM
I will look through my books, I think I have a Sprankle book that talks about that. You need to raise some ducks like I am, you won't believe how much fun it is to watch them. Talk about attitude, they will crack you up! :Rich:

Keith McGowan
04-17-2003, 06:36 AM
If you are getting into carving, a GREAT resource is the decoy carving forum at www.tmdecoy.com. There is someone of every skill level, from beginners to multiple time world champions. Go on over and take a look around, were always glad to have new faces.


04-17-2003, 10:21 AM
Flipper, I just bought "Painting waterfowl" by J.D. Sprankle and have his video "Carving the blue winged teal ". Great source of info. I would love to raise some ducks and geese, but with me living in town, I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon. My neighbors already get sick of hearing my duck and goose calls.:uh:
I also have 'Realistic Decoys", by Keith Bridenhagen and Patrick Spielman. This book talks about different attitudes, but does'nt say anything about how to achieve them.
I'm just wanting to give each head a little different look and trying to get as much info as I can about it.

Keith I have been lurking over there for over a year now. That site was one of the reasons I decided to take up carving. Some of the stuff you guys do is absolutly unreal. Some very seriously talented people over there, and your right, a great source of info.
I just ordered my paints this week and am waiting for those to get here. I have heard that the painting is harder then the carving. I have a feeling they may be right.
I'm slowly starting to build up some reference material (my wife absolutly loves the cut off heads and whole frozen birds in the freezer) and getting some of the proper tools, it's going to take me awhile but I have plenty of time, (just not enough money).

Are there any books or video's you guys feel, that are a "must have" for beginners?

Is anybody going to the Ward world championships? Would love to make it out there some day. I can't wait to see the pic's from it again this year.

Thanks guys :cool: :cool:

04-17-2003, 05:00 PM
I went out and looked at my mallards and ask them about attitude and they cocked their heads real funny. So I think the attitude on waterfowl is best told by the position of the head. The eyes are barely seen when looking down on the head and can be seen from the back as well, that is what the eye channel does for them. I also think if you sculpt a grin at the base of the bill it adds something. Here are a couple eye shots for you fresh off the duck!:Rich:

04-17-2003, 05:03 PM

04-17-2003, 05:55 PM
:rf: :rof: :rf: Go give your ducks a pat on the head for me Flipper and tell them "Thanks". Oh, and throw them a dog bone to.

By the way, great reference pic's......Thanks

04-17-2003, 06:13 PM
Here is a good side shot, check out the baby down on the back of the head. I think he is a punk rocker or something.:Rich:

Sangamon River Rat
04-17-2003, 06:15 PM
You may want to pick up the book :
Author- Dick Le ******

This is a great book for decoy carving and painting help. The book covers basically everything there is to cover when it comes to making and painting decoys. From time-to-time there will be a copy of it for sale on E-bay.

:Bn: :Bn: :Bn:

04-18-2003, 07:36 PM
Great pic's Flipper. That peach fuzz might be kind of tough to carve. Are the ducks still following you around like your king duck?

Sangamon river rat, were would I find that book listed at on e-bay?........under decoys?

Thanks for the help guys.....I appreciate it!:cool:

04-18-2003, 08:32 PM
They follow me if I am going where they want to go! I really enjoy watching the way they play and carry on. Some are running with their wings out testing the air. I can't wait until they grow enough to see the first test flights. Should be a hoot.:Rich:

Sangamon River Rat
04-20-2003, 12:53 PM
The name of the book is "DECOYS, the art of the wooden bird" by Dick Le ******. You should be able to find the book on E-bay listed under decoys or even decoy books. You might even want to search by seller: look up "ducky 57".
Another book to look at is "Wildlife In Wood", this book is also by Dick Le ******.

06-10-2003, 07:27 PM
This would make a great carving!

06-10-2003, 07:29 PM
Check out the foot back under the wing.

06-10-2003, 07:35 PM
Tail feathers are getting the curls.

06-10-2003, 09:56 PM
What fantastic reference material you have there Flipper. That 2nd photo is one of a kind!!! I'm not sure I have ever seen that foot like that, now that would be a beatch trying to carve The Feather details are wonderful and you do a great job of taking the pic's. I can never get my pic's to show that kind of detail.

Once again, thanks for the photo's, appreciate being able to see stuff like that! Have gone back to your original photo's several time for reference. It is amazing how differently you look at wild life once you start carving. Never realized how many textures, colors, and attitudes there are.

Have geared myself so much for carving mallards that it's going to be tough on me when I decide to start carving different birds.Guess I still need to do a hen mallard but that paint scheme terrorfies me. After mallards I'm leaning towards a bluebill or a canvasback. Any chance you could raise either one of those birds?:rof: :rof:

06-11-2003, 10:08 AM
That is a pile of ducks you have running around. They would sure make some interesting poses and some difficult postures to try and carve. But man oh man you can learn a lot from just listening to and watch ducks.

06-17-2003, 08:05 PM
"Attitude" (if it is wht I think you're referring to) is usually a function of how much the crown extends above the eye socket. Eye should be tilted slightly froward & down when set.
Will attach a pic of one of my ringbill gunners that has a good "attitude."


06-17-2003, 09:20 PM
Now that bird has some serious attitude. That is exactly what I was talking about......Thank you MLBob! Great looking decoy.

06-17-2003, 10:21 PM
That decoys is plum mean looking. I like it!!! He looks like he is saying, you even think about landing in here and I will bite your tail feathers off:Art: :Art: :Art: :Art: