5,000 to 6,000 Feathers Per Tom

Think about that for a moment. There can be 5-6 thousand feathers on an adult turkey. I have seen a turkey in person (normally dead mind you) to have seen all the feathers, small and large, that are covering it. Though I did not paint that many feathers on this next saw, it kind of felt like it.


I have had this saw since my last batch of saws, but never painted it. I knew I wanted to do multiple turkeys on it because I had not done a turkey handsaw yet and because there was plenty of room on it since it was a rectangle shape instead of the normal triangle. The background took a while since I did a few different plants, grass, and trees while trying to give depth and detail of the leaves. Once it was finally done and dry, it was time to figure out where the birds were going to go.


I only have painted turkeys with their feather on full display, strutting. So for this saw I wanted male, female, relaxed and strutting turkeys. Different sides, angles, and poses. That was the plan.

Pheasants and turkeys take the most time to paint, because of their feathers. They need the general shading and color transitions like deer, but also need their individual feather reflections added on top of that. Which have their own colors and shading transitions too. I recently started timing how long different aspects of painting a saw took. Prep, background, animals, extra details, and what not. Combined the times start really stacking up, animals obviously taking the longest. Time normally flies when painting. I get wrapped up in it and next I know it’s hours later. Different things to paint or I don’t want the paint mixtures to dry then have to try remixing it back to the exact shade again. Which is no fun and rarely do I get it back to the EXACT match. Sometimes that’s okay, others it’s very obvious. Anyways, I knew it took a long time, but it’s weird seeing exactly how much time.

Doing all of the feather for all five turkeys took around 5 – 5 1/2 hours, in little chucks/a turkey each night. Craziness. After all that time, here is the final result.



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