Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Songbird Portraits

This is a Day Camp project we did during Spring Break. Our recycled mixed media songbirds are pretty amazing, and the process was fun! Here's how to do it:

Start with an 8 x 10" canvas panel or recycled cardboard. Our substrate was a piece of corrugated cardboard with a piece of smooth cardboard (like from the back of a drawing tablet) glued to the working side. We covered the good side with a piece of white copy paper (use spray glue or spread with thinned white glue) and we folded the edges over to the back and glued them down. No need to do this if your are using a canvas panel, but we liked the idea of a recycled substrate.

Find a good photo of a bird you like, and then Google it. Copy and paste a few facts about the bird to a Word doc and also print the name of the bird in a very large font. Or, you can photocopy all of this from a bird book. Cut the name and the facts into sections. Arrange them on the substrate background and glue down. We used gloss acrylic medium and a brush, but you could use Mod Podge or thinned white glue. The paper elements in the collage will wrinkle slightly, but no worries. Brush more medium over the top of the collage and smooth it out - a few wrinkles are just fine and add to the character of the process.

To complete the project, please see That Artist Woman's blog for a similar project that shows how to paint a blue jay. We made our own stencils using our own bird choices. Other than that, the procedure is much the same.

When the painting is dry, brush over it with a layer of gloss medium or Mod Podge and glue a piece of paper over the back to cover the uneven copy paper edges and give it a good finish.

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