Pin-feather challenge: completed!

Colin has now finished his amazing pin-feather challenge, in which he has painted, against all the odds, five game birds – red grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, ptarmigan and woodcock – each with its own pin-feather.

The painting is now framed, and looks magnificent.  The individual pin-feathers used to paint the birds have been inserted into the watercolour paper, underneath each image, and there are pencil drawings dotted in between.

Copyright © Colin Woolf

You might think that Colin would be needing a rest from feather-painting – but his success with this picture has led him on to begin another, similar painting which will (hopefully!) comprise grey partridge, pheasant, teal, snipe and woodcock.  You can see the start that he has made on the grey partridge if you go to the Latest Paintings section of his website.  The partridge feather is currently giving him a fair amount of grief!

This second picture will complete Colin’s original aim of painting nine British game birds with their own pin-feathers. These will be totally unique paintings, and by their nature they are just about unrepeatable.   As I’ve said before, we are certain that no one has ever been skilled enough – or mad enough! – to attempt this kind of picture, and in terms of Colin’s achievement as an artist they will be among the ‘landmarks’.

So what will we think of next?  Well, we’re hatching an idea right now!   We’re planning to publish a new book about woodcock and pin-feather painting, shining a little gentle light on this elusive bird, and tracing the development of Colin’s pin-feather painting from its unlikely beginnings right through to his most recent works.  There will be a collectors’ edition, and we’re still considering all the possibilities of binding and presentation.

We have by no means forgotten about the sequel to ‘Daring to Fly‘;  this is taking shape in terms of text and picture content, and I’m excited about it already.  There will be more news later this year or early next.  Meanwhile, the time seems ripe for a book on woodcock, and we’re taking this idea further while it is fresh in both our minds.


  1. What an interesting project. Beautiful paintings!

  2. Absolutey astonishing! What a fantastic end product, and here’s to the next one! Does Colin use any artificial stimulants? Just wondering if I could cash in on this incredible energy and rate of progress. Quite apart from the obvious skills you both possess, your rate of achievement is truly breathtaking.

    • Artificial stimulants?! That made him laugh! I can’t really print the answer! 😀 I guess the answer is that, if there’s something to do, neither of us messes about! Thank you very much, Lorna – it really is a fantastic painting. I must admit that even I thought his idea was verging on the impossible when he first dreamed it up. It will be interesting to see how the next one develops.

  3. Homestead Ramblings says:

    Amazing, absolutely breathtaking.

  4. Well, this is not something unexpected. Mr. Colin is a great artist and I already knew it.
    Great job!!!
    I hope he hasn’t problems with his neck. Why am I saying this? Because I noticed that some painters have neck problems.

    • Thank you, Cornel! 🙂 Interesting you should ask if he has problems with his neck – Colin does have an ongoing back problem, but it’s not all connected with his work. It doesn’t help sitting in one position for a long time, though!

  5. I am totally impressed and love the “enlarge” feature that allowed me to get up close and personal to each bird. The air must thrum loudly when these large birds take flight.
    What an achievement and I am keen to see the next project.

    • I haven’t seen capercaillie in flight but I’ve seen all the others – there’s usually a whirring of wings when they get going! But they are surprisingly swift and agile. Thanks for your comment!

  6. This is stunning!!!

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