How to Paint Black Duck Decoys

December 17, 2008 by  

By John “crewchief252” Potts

Black Duck Decoy PaintingThis month, I thought we would do an easy duck decoy. A black duck is a good first decoy, very little fancy techniques, a few basic colors, and you have a nice working decoy that will bring in the birds.

Mars Black
Titanium White
Ultramarine Blue
Yellow Ochre
Raw Sienna

First off, if you are painting an already painted deek, refer to my previous article about painting decoys as to how to prepare the decoy.

black duck decoysStart off as always with surface prep, make sure each decoy is clean and dry. Coat the entire bird with Gesso, I recommend 2 coats. Then mix up the decoy paint for the entire body. Start with burnt umber with a touch of ultramarine blue and use light coats. Each coat of paint will darken the decoy. Next, paint the head with a mixture of white and raw sienna and a touch of burnt umber to make a dusky color.
Next, mix some burnt umber and black and use this color to make the tiny feather marks on the head. Try to make them thicker on top to darken the top of the head.
Next, mix up some raw sienna and white, and use this color to outline the feathers on the body.
Give the decoy plenty of time to dry. Then, mix burnt umber with a touch of raw sienna and use this color to wash the entire bird, head and body. Washing is accomplished by thinning the paint until it is watery and able to read through it. Apply this one coat at a time and it will darken and soften the entire bird. Be careful not to let any runs occur with the wash or it will dry into a darker line. Keep washing until bird is soft looking and to your liking. Next comes the bill. Paint the bill with a mixture of yellow ochre with a little black mixed in to make olive, be sure not to make it too dark. Once all is dry, hit it with a few light coats of flat sealer and start shooting blackies. If you have any questions, drop me a pm through the site. (crewchief252)
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4 Comments on "How to Paint Black Duck Decoys"

  1. Bob on Thu, 2nd Apr 2009 3:04 pm 

    I absolutely love your patience John. I have always wanted to carve duck decoys. I have collected a few over the years but never any carving. Great job and I envy you.

  2. garry spurrell on Fri, 14th Aug 2009 3:43 pm 

    what exactly are the mixtures for the black duck decoy and the blue bill thank you

  3. Ernie Machate on Tue, 15th Nov 2011 2:48 pm 

    My weakness in painting duck decoy is color. I like the way you detail the different colors to use in painting the black duck. Do sell a book I can buy for painting different duck decoys. This will help me a lot. Thank you

  4. Ernie Machate on Mon, 28th Nov 2011 8:40 am 

    How do I learn more about painting duck decoy?

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