FAQ’s


The Red Tail Arts FAQ

some of our most frequently asked questions all in one convenient place.

About The Art
What kind of paints do you use?
What do you use to carve soapstone?
How long does it take you to paint a feather?
How small are your brushes?
Do you paint on anything besides feathers?
How are you able to make the clay sculptures so tiny?

Ordering Custom Work
How do I order custom work?
How much does your work cost?
Do I pay before or after?
How far in advance should I order if I want something custom?
If I send a photo, can you paint it on a feather?
If I send you a feather I found, can you paint on it?
Do you create jewelry for people with metal allergies?

About The Art

What kind of paints do you use?

It depends on what I’m creating, but mostly acrylics. Each work is different and requires different techniques. When painting clog panels, it has worked better using a lower quality craft acrylics like Apple Barrel or Grumbacher. They seem to work with the leather and its flexibility. I’ve started using Turner Acrylic Gouache with a lot of the feathers and I’ve been really enjoying how that works for me. I’ve also used Golden and Matisse paints for some feather work. -Amber
 

What do you use to carve the soapstone?

I’ll use rasps to get it down, then mostly files to do the rest of it. But that leave a whole lot of scratches, so it has to be finished of with several different grades of sandpaper or steel wool. -Branden

How long does it take you to paint a feather?

That can change depending on the size of the feather and if it is a custom piece. Some designs are more complicated by the nature of the design. A small damselfly only 3 inches high can take three times as long as a night sky over the ocean that covers an entire turkey’s wing feather. Similarly, if it is a design I have a lot of practice at, it will go a lot faster than if it is a completely new design that I’m working on. So unfortunately, there’s just not an easy answer to that one. -Amber


How small are your brushes?

Some of them are VERY tiny. Each brush has a number on it to let the artist know how to easily find that size again. Most of the brushes that I use are a size 20/0 or 10/0. I do have a few normal size brushes that are in the single digits that I use for some of the larger designs; so not all of them are micro-sized! -Amber

Do you paint on anything besides feathers?

Almost any surface! I have done drums, boxes, fences, seashells, glass, plastic, and a lot more. The feathers are more enjoyable for me right now, but I am always up for trying something outside my comfort zone when it comes to my art. Have an idea? Drop me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do! -Amber

How do you get the clay sculptures so tiny?

When they’re too small to hold onto, I set them on a bottle cap as I’m working with them. To get all the detail I either fabricate my own tools or use old dental tools. The hardest part is usually getting them off the bottle cap before firing them.  -Branden

Ordering Custom Work

How do I make a custom order?

After reading through the FAQ’s here, fill out a Contact Form for Special Requests. We will be in touch after receiving your request with further details to your particular needs.

How much does your work cost?

We have a base price for our items and then custom prices have the potential to go up depending on the requested details. This depends on details such as size and particular design requests. Starting prices will be listed below, and we will inform you of any change to that before starting work on your piece.

Item Starting Price in USD Included Details
Painted Feather (animal) S-$120
M-$185
L-$245
Framed with feather accents with an in-stock frame
Painted Feather (portrait) M-$250
L-$350
Framed with feather accents in an in-stock frame
Feathered Dragon (hanging) $65 Metal eye-hook and a protective polycrylic coating in gloss or satin
Feathered Dragon (sitting/dice holder) $55 Protective polycrylic coating in gloss or satin
Bottlecap Dragon $25 Bottlecap of our choosing that it was sculpted upon and a protective polycrylic coating in gloss or satin
Bottle Dragon $40 Miniature glass bottle and cork with eye-screw, with our choice of small stone chips inside, and a protective polycrylic coating in gloss or satin
Sugar Skulls $25 Horizontal or vertical hole for stringing and a protective polycrylic coating in gloss or satin
Soapstone Due to the nature of each stone, price varies greatly Fully polished with a protective wax coating
Jewelry Dependant on materials requested Dependent on specifics of order

Do I pay before or after?


With custom orders, there is a 20% OR ordering fee (whichever is higher) initial cost. For an example, say your order is for $200. However, you want it mounted in a frame that will be $60 to order in. The 20% will only come to $40, so the fee would then turn to the order cost to be able to purchase needed materials for your project.

How far in advance should I order if I want something custom?

To make extra sure that your work is completed in time, always order as soon as possible! Everything that is done here is done by hand, so it takes time.

Item Being Ordered Minimum Time Needed
Small Custom Feather 2 weeks
Large Custom Feather or Feather Fan 3-4 weeks
Small Painted Shell with Animal Silhouette 1 week
Custom Jewelry Set (components in stock) 2 weeks
Custom Jewelry Set (components out of stock) 8 weeks
Miniature Polymer Clay Sculpture 1 week
Up to 3 Inch Polymer Clay Sculpture 3 weeks
Soapstone Sculpture (stone in stock) 2 weeks
Soapstone Sculpture (stone out of stock) 12 weeks
All Other Inquiries Contact For More Information

If I send a photo, can you paint it on a feather?

Of course! Though keep in mind that there can be some variables that can make it difficult to replicate your photo. You can look at some of our suggestions on our blog entry on finding the right reference photos. What we recommend is to select several of your favorites and contact us. Make sure at least one image is a high quality so the detail can be seen. The easier the subject is seen in the photo, the easier it is to accurately replicate it.

If I send you a feather I found, can you paint on it?

Yes and no. I will not accept ANY illegal feathers. This means especially no eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl feathers! The only exception to this rule is if you have the licence to own the feather and can provide the necessary documentation. To find out what other bird feathers are protected visit the USDA’s Migratory Bird Act website.
If your feather is considered to be from a legal species, I would be happy to paint it. Please just make sure the feather has been properly sterilized and cleaned before sending it. -Amber

Do you create jewelry for people with metal allergies?

Certainly! You just need to let us know before you order. We may not have what you need in stock, so we may need to order the necessary components to work with you. Some jewelry can also be made with glass bead clasps or a leather tie.