My latest project for the Nature Exploration Area at BNC:
This is a pileated woodpecker, painted life-sized (16.5-18", according to various field guides) on a piece of wood salvaged from the tree crew's efforts. You can still see the marks where the chainsaw bit into the soft wood--the surface is therefore much more difficult to paint on than a canvas or panel, but I sand all the pieces first and put on a coat of polycrylic (similar to polyurethane, except water-soluble and non-yellowing), which prevents the paint from being absorbed into the wood so rapidly. I love having the bark as a "frame" of sorts!
Here's a close-up of the face:
I was using a mismatched collection of paints; the red was glossy but all the other colors were matte, which explains why the crest and malar stripe are so shiny--sorry about that!