First decoy from scratch-1985. A week to carve and paint... in oils. My girlfriend smudged the side pocket when she picked the bird up prior being fully dry. I married her anyway;never let her touch a decoy again, though!
I had painted several dozen spindle carved mallards and divers prior this bird for a forestry Prof. at MSU that I used to hunt with. He had some Miles Pirnie birds that he used as masters. I cleaned-up some of the rough marks on the heads, carved the bill details ,and cleaned-up the bodies and added some Ben Schmidt feather patterns(still a big fan of his decoys and painting style). I was supposed to get half of the decoys on completion of the job, but never saw any of them. He eventually reimbursed me for the paints. They are now in a hunt club in southern Michigan.