Turkey Painting Revisions

Here is a painting I created of a wild turkey, in this article I will show you the process I went through to create the painting as well as the finishing adjustments I made at the end. The painting is 18″x24″ and painted on a gallery wrapped canvas.

This painting was done in late 2017/ early 2018.

Here is the original photo I worked from. There are 2 other Turkeys right behind it, which I did not include in the painting.

Here is the drawing I started with, There are several mistakes in this drawing which I would touch-up later. Such as the head being too small and the tail being too short.

Here is the first layers of the painting. In this version I did an under painting of grass, and blocked in the main colours. I also adjusted the drawing by making the head and neck bigger as well as the tail. In this version of the painting, I am 4.5 hours into it.

In this version I added more layers and covered up some of the grass, I also added more muted colours. I also lowered the back near the tail. In this version I am 9 hours into the painting.

In this version I added dull blues and yellows so that it did not become too saturated. One problem with this photo is that there is a lot of glare which can make it difficult to see all the detail. In this version I am 15 hours into the painting.

In this version I thought the painting was done, I added brighter glazes to the grass, and more texture. In the bird I used several different shades of grey mixed with mixing white, titanium white, raw umber and phalo blue. Although at this stage I thought it was done,  I later realized how the shadows in the background look too uniform, as well as there being a lot of glare at the top of the painting.

In this version I worked on the top of the painting adding some lighter highlights to the grass. I also lightened the greys of the bird with mixing white, titanium white, and raw umber. Since I was getting a lot of glare in my photos, I took two exposures of the painting one of the centred on the painting, and another one of the top part of the painting, and I merged them together using photoshop.


Here is a closeup detail of the painting, showing the neck and head.

4 thoughts on “Turkey Painting Revisions

  1. Wonderful talk-show-though to your very nice finish, Shawn! Been following your paintings for a little while now & just keep seeing jumps in both what you’re doing and showing to us! I felt this finished piece has a wonderful folk art sense to it, with all kinds of little things I especially like: the one leg raised to take another step, the modulated background, oh, and the blues elbowed so to speak with warm color – very nice! 😊


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