The SOS Eagle - Days 3 & 4

This piece is the continuation of Deb’s design challenge for the Manchester Chapter SOS Eagle Parade and Veteran’s Count. In the coming weeks, Deb will be chronicling her artistic process from concept to finished art piece. Her goal is to highlight the effort that is put into coming up with a design and how much one artist will go through by the time the piece is completed.


I’ll attempt to paint the eagle wearing a Celtic uniform. I used the green straight out of the tube and immediately didn’t like the color. Ugh. I looked at some of the images of the players that I had printed out for a better color idea. I had a feeling that I would need more than a dab of the Celtic green color so I’d better prepare a fair amount since it would be something I wouldn’t want to remix. I couldn’t afford to waste time an attempt to rematch the color and then needing to paint it all over again because it was ‘off’. I needed to plan ahead. A medium size paper coffee cup with a cover that didn’t get thrown away was the perfect size and I used it to mix the green with a bit of white. It was just the right combination. I had my color.

I had five sides on the base to worry about. What do I put on one never mind the other four? Well, I decided on the iconic winking leprechaun and symbol of the Boston Celtics and of the Irish persuasion. I needed a circle shape and used a dinner plate that seemed like a good size to trace the circle. A smaller plate worked for the inner circle. Looking online I found the image of the leprechaun and printed it out. I was fortunate to be able to enlarge it on my printer. I cut the image out and traced it in place. This one thing would take time. It was enough for the day.


Before beginning to paint the leprechaun I needed to ramp things up as the clock was ticking. I did more homework about the Boston Celtics which led me to the Big Three. Steve agreed this would be a good choice as Parish, Bird and McHale made a significant impact to the team. I quizzed him about others and we talked about championships and who made the most impact over time. It was decided that the bird would be wearing the green uniform of #6, Bill Russell.

I sketched the leprechaun in and started to add details; shamrocks, the basketball, pipe, etc. I hadn’t figured out the background but I knew that it would magically appear. I took a break and did some homework for The Big Three. I needed to find a picture that showed them together. After a while, the right one clicked. It showed the three sitting together on a bench. I printed a copy which was a little blurry, enlarged it, went with what I had and cut the image out. I hoped it would look like them by the time I was finished painting.

Throughout the mostly mental labor of this design challenge our dog, Kali had to be near me for some reason. I think she figured she had to give me support in her own way by staring at me, napping, or nudging my hand over the hours. She has amassed about ten tennis balls for outdoor play time which are usually near or in her food bowl. Sometimes in the house, I’ll toss the ball where it goes from the kitchen to the foyer and bounces off doors and walls. She loves it. WHAT AM I THINKING?!! I have an eagle that we gingerly placed on top a table in the foyer. If she had knocked into it….never mind. THAT needs to stop for now.

I started to think ahead to the base. This was going to make a visual impact because of the size. So my color choices needed to be the right ones; not bizarre, not cutesy, but just right. Still, I didn’t have a solid plan for any of it. I decided though that the leprechaun side would have more of the Celtic green and I picked another bold color scheme for The Big Three. They would be dressed in their white uniforms but the background would be a medium bright blue with black. I applied this first with a random brush pattern blending but not mixing the two colors before adding the figures. I didn’t want to be painting around them. That’s annoying. Now I had to get going and do this. Would it look like them? Leprechauns and real people – so different to paint. Got to keep my head in the game!

Stay tuned for the next installment!

For Deb’s first entry, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – The Beginning of the Challenge
For Days 1 and 2, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 1 and 2

The eagles for this project were manufactured by Icon Poly, a family owned company based in central Nebraska. Icon Poly started as a hobby of sculpting, sculpture point-up, and making fiberglass animals and sculptures by hand. In 1999, the company formed and began computerized sculpting, 3-D foam milling, laser digital sculpture enlargement, and a manufacturing process that accurately duplicates the likeness of sports and corporate mascots, make sophisticated trade show displays, and make multiple 3-D copies of a single design of paintable fiberglass sculptures for community art projects. With customer service and client satisfaction as top priorities, the company can bring even the simplest sketch or idea to reality using state of the art technology and the highest quality, environmentally friendly materials available. For more about Icon Poly, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about Veterans Count, visit their website. To learn more about Debbie Curtin and her projects, click here.