February 29, 2012

A Bird on the Wall.


Saved by grace, or in this case, saved by leap year! February got away from me, but I’m still managing a project posted with a date of Feb! (By the skin of my teeth… yes.)

So, I have this white wall… you may have seen my Christmas tree this year, it lived against the blank wall. I have had a few plans for it, but none have panned out.

A few months back I found a canvas on clearance at Hobby Lobby discounted down to $20 because it didn’t have a protective plastic cover.
I’ve been saying I would pull out my artists smock and have a go, but I’ve been too worried I’d ruin it.
Recently I’ve been looking around Pinterest and loving all the Bird things I’ve been seeing… so I made a Board of Birds, and stared at them long enough to feel I had courage.
I’m not a “painter” of paintings, I’m a painter of walls -and the occasional graphic image, so this took some self encouragement.  Go on. Natty…. You can throw up colorful paints in the shape of a bird….. And I mean throw and up as two separate words. Confusing the two would mean failure. I’m not after a bird that looks thrown-up.


K, so… I started with a color I already have in the room. It’s a pale green that I mixed myself, and still have half a gallon of. I used it on my round end tables, which if you are familiar with my posts, you will recognize. 
Then I also have a quart of a lighter green. That one went on the canvas in the center, then I used the green from the end tables, and put that around the edges. Giving me a tiny bit of dimension.  (sorry if the photos look muddy, not taking the time to color correct.)
In my uncertainty, I decided I would try to figure out where the top of the bird started and where the tail ended. I ripped up some painters tape and tried to roughly decide it’s location. (sorry about the bright sunlight.)
Using one of the birds from my Pinterest board; I printed the image in color and black and white side by side so that I had a reference for both if I needed it.  I then sketched it onto paper. I knew what I wanted to happen with the branch the bird would be on, so I drew that in the way I envisioned it.
With a small leap of courage, I pencil sketched the shape onto my green canvas.

I painted the bird with every color I wanted. (pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, tan, aqua) It was cool, but at the same time a bit too silly… it was far too stripe-y, so when I stopped, I decided I would add white. I then used a stirring stick as a pallet knife, and scraped white acrylic paint over the colors. (All the colored paints I used are acrylic.)  I put in a conscious effort to apply the paint in a rounded manner since the colors all looked too straight. 
Adding the white made me much happier with the bird, but also made it very flat. It was at that point I decided I wanted to use pencil as a second media.
I sketched around the bird, and on top of the bird, trying to make shaded areas that would offer up a bit of dimension.  Not that I succeeded amazingly, but I’m still content with the result.






 So, my funky Bird now lives downstairs on the wall. What breed of bird is it you ask? I dunno… one of those Scatty ones…

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3 comments:

Connie Mercer said...

love your blog and all your handy projects~I'm like that in way too but love to re-purpose old stuff!!! Great project!!

Suzanne said...

I LOVE the Scatty bird breed! awesomeness girl!

thedoodlegirl said...

WOW, Natalie!! AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAAAAAAAAAYZING!!!!!