Sunday, June 24, 2007

the sort of thing that drives me crazy

So I have this commission I'm just starting for an illustration of a perfectly colored and marked feather from a particular breed of chicken. This is very "Standard-like" but is a private job for an individual person, not for any organization. Same rules apply though... "gotta be perfect." (yeah, no pressure or anything).

In non-chicken-person terms, it's basically a brown feather with black markings. There are a gazillion and a half different shades of brown (in poultry and otherwise) and this particular one is described as "bright reddish mahogany." Without looking in glossaries, in my mind that is darkish reddish brown, but high in color saturation, hence the brightness.

Other birds with similar shades of brown are described as "rich mahogany brown", "rich dark chestnut mahogany", "rich mahogany bay", "mahogany bay", and "deep reddish bay". Yup, each one is a little different, but very similar.

There are two different organizations in the poultry world, and each one publishes a "Standard".. a book that explains the ideal of every color and every breed, and it is by these Standards that the birds are judged. So if a show is sanctioned by both clubs, and the birds are to be judged under both standards, but judged only once, the standards ought to agree, right?

Hmm, yeah they don't. In some parts, yes, but not everywhere. I ran into a problem with this when I was doing the Standard illustrations, I was referencing the book from the other club, which had a different description, and I ended up having to redo one. Ack!

Now, I will say I do not have the most current edition of the bantam standard, so perhaps things have changed, but looking at the glossaries of both books just to clarify color, here is what I find:

BAY:
APA: light golden brown
ABA: reddish brown, color of ripe horse chestnut

MAHOGANY:
APA: deep glowing reddish brown
ABA: brownish yellow hue, medium saturation, low brilliance (to which red is included)

CHESTNUT:
APA: dark red-brown, darker than bay
ABA: brown; yellow-red in hue, medium saturation, medium brilliance

Oh come on, that's just ridiculous! [grumbles] I'm just going to do what I think is right. Psh!

(RJ if you are reading this the grumbles aren't at you, they're at the SOPs!) ;-)

1 comment:

Rose Re said...

Hi Katherine,
I agree, the disparity makes finding the best birds a little confusing, and also very individual as far as judges go. I guess if they could have agreed on things there would probably be only one standard.
Rose