Tupelo wood was used for the carving as it seems to be smoother following carving with power tools. Following the carving, Jim used a burning pen to draw in feather patterns that can be seen on the head and breast above. Glass eyes give a life-like look. Acrylic paints approximate the colors. Some additional work remains to be done on painting feather patterns on the bird's wings. Jim finds painting to be as complex as carving the bird to a lifelike size and shape.
The instructor brought a casting model to class that was used to obtain correct measurements. Length and shape of bill as well as eye placement are critical to make the carving look lifelike. A carving made by the instructor and photographs of real birds also proved helpful during the painting process.