Monday, May 26, 2014

New Wall Art: Put a Bird (or three) on it!

This was a spontaneous weekend project. It happened after a similarly spontaneous living room rearrangement (I am convinced that rearranging the furniture periodically is good for your brain) that left a new piece of open wall.

I found this pinterest board, which was chock fill of ideas, and one of them was this bird art silhouette from over at Tater Tots and Jello, which was actually a guest post from the blogger at Crap I've Made. If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I am incredibly jealous of that blog name, since making crap and blogging about it is a favorite activity of mine.

I was really intrigued because it reminded me a bit of my previous venture into canvas wall art, in that it uses blocking off negative space as a substitute for an actual ability to paint anything that looks like anything (this my previous attempt, which has more than 1600 repins, making it possibly the most popular thing I've ever made in my life).

This one is a little different because the base layer isn't just white paint, this time it is a collage. So, first, you've got to cut up some stuff and make one. This takes a while. I would recommend paper scraps that don't include much white- you want it to contrast with the color of the paint you're using. All I had to cut up were my hoard of back issues of the New Yorker which I perpetually intend to get through. I was a little concerned about this plan since it is so text heavy, but actually there is really cool art in there, so it worked out pretty well. In related news, when you spend your evening cutting up back issues of the New Yorker to make a project you found on Pinterest after spending the afternoon potting herb plants in organic potting soil, you start to wonder what kind of a cliche you have become.

These are my supplies:

This is my collage (do you have any idea how many back episodes of True Blood it took to make this thing? Quite a few). You might see that down at the bottom the pieces are bigger. That is because at that point, I thought the only place that the underneath would show through was in the top third. I did want paper everywhere so the paint would look uniform.

Then you have to figure out what to put on this thing. The original post used pictures from, but they wouldn't print out big enough for what I wanted (I had spent enough time on the collage that I wanted to be able to see it!). So I drew and cut out some really basic birds and leaves. I actually had to cut them out a number of times to keep making them bigger (see the stray one at the bottom?)

Once you settle on a design, you have to outline it. What I did, was to hold it down, and lightly brush the paint outwards all the way around it, to make a slight outline of the birds.

Using that, I could then trace the outline with my brush (see, no real painting ability needed!).
I went through the whole area around the birds, and realized I was kind of sad because there were some parts of the collage I had gotten kind of attached to (although I had tried to capture some of them under the birds).

I decided to make it sort of purposely undone at the bottom, to allow some color to balance out the higher up birds, and I like how it looks. Unfortunately, since I had done a bad job on purpose at the bottom, I ended up having to redo it using my many leftover scraps.

Then just cover it over. As with the grey hallway art, this takes a ton of cheap acrylic paint. I made it so brush strokes sort of pulled down to almost over the bottom part, leaving about 1/5th of it still colored. In case you are wondering, this whole enterprise made an enormous mess:

Then it was time to hang it! I'm planning to spray it with an acrylic fixer, but want to give it a full day to be sure it is all dry underneath, since there a a few different layers of paint and modpodge going on.

I like how it turned out it's colorful, and also way different than anything else I've got going on.

You could pretty much make any pattern here, Just be sure the resolution of the cut up pieces for the collage are small enough so that whatever cut out you put on top allows you to see different swatches of color. Have fun with it!


Pam said...

How cute & clever!!!

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yellowfish said...

Thanks! I'm really happy with how it turned out!


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