Sunday, November 6, 2011

YAH: Bird Art

Today I am sharing a craft that I made almost a year ago. I got this idea for bird wall art from here. Please visit that site for step-by-step instructions. But here is what I did differently. Instead of using book pages on my canvas, I painted it. (I actually tried using book pages at first, but they got all bubbly. I ended up really liking the painted version, so I am glad that happened.) I used big tubes of acrylic paint: Titanium White and Raw Umber.
I used an 8x10 stretched canvas for the first one I made. I mixed the white and the raw umber until I got a nice shade of light brown and I covered the whole canvas. (Sorry I don't have steps of this. This was pre-blog.) Then I used the white and raw umber again, but mixed them less so you could still see white and dark brown in it and just lightly brushed that on the canvas. I brushed them on diagonally.
I liked how the streaks turned out. According to the tutorial I followed, she used a sharpie to draw the branches and birds and then colored it in. But I wanted to use paint. So first I drew everything with a pencil. The branches I drew by hand and the birds I traced from pictures I found online. Here is a good site for songbirds. I just found ones that had a cute pose or good profile and cut them out and traced them on my canvas. Then I used raw umber to paint in the branches and birds. I really liked it, but I had only used one canvas because I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I wish I had done two, because there was no way I would be able to match the background color perfectly again. So I kept this single one for myself, and made a double one to give away as a gift for Christmas. For the double one I used 9x11 canvases (from Michaels). Everything else was exactly the same.
For this one, the background turned out a little more grayish, but I used the same paint colors. It just all depends on how much of each color you use. If you do the double, make sure you mix enough to cover both canvases, because it's really hard to match the color if you run out!! My painting was a big hit and I got requests for more, but I have yet to make them. It's very simple and only takes a couple hours. And don't be afraid of acrylic painting. I'm not an artist at all. When my husband was overseas for the military, my sister and I took up painting and used a book to teach ourselves how to paint. We met once a week and it was a lovely way to pass the time. We started simple, with a bowl of fruit:
And worked our way up to more complicated things:

We also did fun, abstract ones:

And I found those to be the most, I don't know...soothing, I guess. I loved just painting streaks of color onto a canvas. So go ahead. Try it!


The Monko said...

These are beautiful

Betsy said...

Thank you!

Sarah said...

I thought you took a class! Your birds were gorgeous! Inspiring! I still think I should have picked them...since I was first. This year I will probably be last!