Wild Turkey, 40" x 24" Oil on Canvas

2016 National Wild Turkey Federation's Banquet Art Program

In the Bible, Jesus nicknames James and John the "Sons of Thunder". These two tight-knit, overzealous brothers were loud, rowdy, and reckless. And if you've ever shared a hardwood ridge with a couple of red hot Eastern longbeards, you can see why this is the perfect title for this painting. Easterns can seemingly shake the woods down with their thunderous gobble, and I've yet to find anything that makes my adrenaline pump the way a scene like this does. 

In this painting, I highlighted the golden morning sun hitting the forest floor and really pushed the color temperature changes that this warm light produces. The play of light and shadow in the foreground is almost as important as the birds themselves. The gnarly, old tree and logs give structure and character to the scene and I really enjoyed painting them. The scene is from the top of a mountain near my home in Boone, and I took the reference photo for the background on opening day as a buddy and I were trying to locate a hot bird.

I created another video so you can watch the work in progress. I hope you enjoy the video and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay current on future videos.