I think most people would have been ever so slightly put off by the size of the feather! It doesn’t look like a pin-feather at all – it’s long, broad and rounded at the end whereas most pin-feathers are small and sharply tapered. I would challenge anyone to paint a straight line with it.
Colin had to create a special holder for the capercaillie feather, because it wouldn’t fit into the custom-made holder that he normally uses.
I’ve no idea how he has managed to paint the bird’s eye, let alone leave a miniscule white dot in the iris. The red eye stripe has worked well, and there is a lovely iridescence in the plumage. Now that the facial details are out of the way, he is relaxing just a bit.
Here are two photos of the work in progress. The feather in the holder to the left is from a red grouse, to give an idea of the size difference.