To Make Pictures Of Birds With Their Natural Feathers





First take thin board or panel, of deal or wainscot, well seasoned,

that it may not shrink; then paste white paper smoothly on it, and

let it dry; if the colour of the wood show through, paste a second

paper over it. When the paper is dry, get ready any bird that you

would represent, and draw the outline as exact as you can on the

papered panel. You then paint the ground-work, stump of a tree, the

bill and legs, their proper colour, with water-colours, leaving the

body to be covered with its own natural feathers. In the space you

have left for the body, you lay on very thick gum-water, letting each

coat dry before you lay on another, and so continuing until the gum is

as thick as a shilling. Then take the feathers off the bird; and, as

you proceed, draw a camels'-hair pencil, dipped in gum-water, over the

coat of gum that you have laid on the paper, that it may more readily

adhere. As you strip the bird, you must fix the feathers in their

proper places on the board, and you shave the shafts or stems of the

larger feathers, that they may lie flat. The most ready way to perform

the operation, is to provide yourself with a pair of steel pliars to

take up and lay on the feathers with. You should prepare some small

leaden weights to lay on the feathers, that they may more readily

adhere to, and lie flat on, the gum. The part where the eye is must be

supplied by a small piece of paper, coloured and shaped like one; or

you may, probably, be able to get a glass bead that will answer the

purpose better. In order that the feathers may lie smooth and regular,

when the whole is perfectly dry, lay a book, or a flat board, with a

weight on it.





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