Friday, May 27, 2011

Bird Art

At last, I get to check something off on my grand summer project list.

This particular project started back when I was styling my Expedit. You remember this as one of my inspiration images?

I figured I could duplicate the look by gluing scrapbook paper to canvas. So, on one of my recent forays into Micheal's, I kept my eyes open. I got very lucky and found a package of two 12x12's canvases for $8.39.

But as I culled my scrapbook paper, I just didn't find any I wanted to use as a single sheet. Ok, I lie. I did find some: but I didn't have a whole sheet of it. Not only that, but I couldn't find two intact sheets I wanted to use together. And I most certainly did not want to walk into a scrapbook store to find any. I had to use what I had. But, just putting paper on canvas seemed sort of boring, in my house, on top of my Expedit.

One night, browsing the 'net, I found this project:

source: Cottage Hill

Not only did Lindy provide a great tutorial, (click on that link above for it) she also made a print out of the birds in outline available.

So, what else could I do? She made it too easy.

Here was her inspiration:

source: The Birds at Ballard Designs. They have so many amazing and beautiful things for the walls that I just linked to all their art work available.

And here are mine.
(If you want to learn how I did it, keep reading. If you just want to ooh and aah, you can do that now.)

diy ballard bird art, bird art, diy bird art

I sized the birds to fit my canvas (about 8" wide for a 12x12 canvas.) and printed them out. Then, I transferred Lindy's outline of the birds to the back of the paper I wanted to use using the highly sophisticated scribble method.

Then, I cut out the birds. (My daughter actually did one of the birds and I did the other. That's just how easy it was.)

I found a bunch of craft paint in the basement that wasn't completely dried up and had what I needed, fortunately, to mix the colour I wanted for the edges. I encountered the first big hurdle when I couldn't find the painter's tape.

There I was, with my lines carefully measured 1/2" from the outer edge, and drawn with a ruler--and no way to keep the line straight except my eagle eye and steady hand.

Bosh. I decided I needed to let go of my perfectionism and just get on with it. After all, art is not supposed to be perfect. In fact, you could say it is its imperfections which make it art. You could. But, I'm not going to press my point.

I also used the scribble method to transfer the design of the leaves and flower to the canvases, directly.

This is after going over it with the charcoal pencil. There's no way pencil would come out that dark.

Then I did a bad thing. Even given the whole let's not be perfect thing, I do have my limits.

I used a charcoal pencil to go over my HB pencil lines. Why was it a bad thing? Charcoal smudges, really, really well (you could say it was designed to do that!) as I quickly discovered when I went to erase a small mistake. (I said I wasn't going to press the point!)

That's not what I'd call crisp, exactly. The mere thought of more smudging was more than I could handle.

Oh dear. What was an art-phobic, can't draw-worth-a-damn girl supposed to do?

There was nothing else to be done.

I sighed and gallantly grabbed the next-to-finest brush I have and I put my tongue between my teeth and I painted on those lines. I did. I really did.

Then, I used mod podge to stick the paper to the canvas. (Use waxed paper underneath the item you are mod podging.) I carefully positioned it and pressed down the edges.

I made a sandwich to weigh it all down. A large book at the bottom for stability, waxed paper for protection, the canvas upside down, of course, another book placed inside the frame, a large book on top of that for stability, waxed paper, the canvas, another book. All weighted down, I waited.

As I was screwing the supports into the back of the canvas so that they'd stand up, I realised I was going the have to mod podge the fronts, too.

Hard to see, but I put small rubber pads on the bottom of the corner brackets so they won't scratch any surfaces.

The canvas was too vulnerable to dirt and dust and fingerprints to be left bare.

But it all worked out. They could do with another coat, but I'm calling it good for now and moving on.

styling expedit, diy bird art, bird art
I really need to do something about that ol' Grecian urn, now, don't I?

Linking to the 123rd Metamorphoses Monday.

Also linking to the Lettered Cottage, How To Tuesday.

The Lettered Cottage

Thanks so much for stopping by and do check out the other great projects.


scb said...

Wow!!! Fantastic!!!

Well done, you!

Not only was I impressed by the whole process, but they look sooooo good up on the Expedit.

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you. My grin is a mile wide.

alison said...

Wow! They turned out fantastic. I must find time to try it out - until then I will ooh and ahh.

Lindy said...

Oh how I love them. You did a great job. I love all the extra tips you gave. ~Lindy

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

#1 - They're LOVELY! #2 - no one will get close enough to notice any charcoal smudges. (if they do, hand them a rag and tell 'em to dust ;) #3 - next time, grab a Sharpie. Black works for nearly everything but they come in a lot of fun colors too.

Again . . . Lovely! (don't you just adore Lindy?!?)

LOJO said...

those are fantastic! I love them- great job

onshore said...

Those are lovely, they look real nice over your expedit!

KAT said...

Love your birdies!
Good job! Im visiting from Meta..Mondays at BNOTP

KK said...

I love your artwork. Anything to do with birds and I'm in! You did a great job copying Ballard.

Frank Zweegers said...

Looks great. Love the birds.

Brandi said...

I love your artwork. You did a beautiful job.

Amber said...

I LOVE this!! I may attempt to do this myself!!! Absolutely beautiful!

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