Inside an oven, in searing heat, a chicken dances with vegetables within the meat dish as it cooks. People wait for it to cook, but the chicken is still not done.

Have you ever waited for a roast to cook and wondered why it is taking so long? Perhaps while you’re not looking, the meat is happily dancing the Can-Can among the vegetables. How can you be sure it’s not? If you’re not looking, it could be doing this and just stopping whenever you look; a bit like the Toy Story characters or the Invisible Boy in the movie Mystery Men, whose special power is making himself invisible. Unfortunately he could only achieve invisibility when nobody was watching.

My favourite example of a reclusive performance would have to be the Looney Tunes frog (Michigan J. Frog) from the cartoon titled “One Froggy Evening”.

Illustrated here, the chicken is quite happy to perform under oven lights, even though it’s being watched by a woman in the kitchen.

A while back, I drew Three French Hens as part for the Twelve Days of Christmas series. It featured, oddly enough, three French hens, performing the Can-Can, wing in wing. The chicken pictured here is performing much the same dance within its tray in the oven. Could this be one of the three Can-Canning French hens at a later point in time?

I would love to animate this chicken one day, but until then, it’s still not done. I anticipate the process would take a very long time.

I couldn’t leave this one as a black and white line drawing because it was too confusing with the indicated motion lines and the woman in the background. Colouring it allowed me to simulate tinted glass which effectively forced the outside-oven characters into the background and brought the main chicken forward as the focus. Outlining it in white further helped it to stand out. It currently stands as flat colour (and would look much nicer shaded).

Initially, I was just going to have the chicken in the dish by itself, but adding vegetables helped to fill some space and more importantly, they gave the chicken some props for its dance performance.