Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"B" is for Bird: DIY Table Art

So in an urge to sketch out some new tattoo ideas, I stumbled onto some photos of small birds a couple weeks ago. I have wanted to get another bird since I had my owl half sleeve done.

I do love me some owls (an Owl ADDICT you might say).

One of the little birds was so adorable I wanted to recreate a version of my own. However, it wasn't quite tattoo worthy. Then I thought maybe I'd make a decor piece with it, but how? 8Ponder, ponder...

Ah...last weeks shopping trip  now comes into play...

I had bought some additional letters to make some monogram canvases. Instead, I decided to try something a little different this time. Something that would be associated with the little bird I found. Maybe something that could be fun for the kids to looks at ( and even, perhaps, secretly prep Little Miss K for her impending Kindergarten attendance this Fall). Why not make an Alphabet Canvas!

I fished out a single B from my little pile of letters and traced it onto the canvas panel I had bought a while back and traced the B out. 
Now canvas panels are a little different from normal canvas. It's like writing on a book cover.

I'm a sketch artist so painting and I, well, let's say we have a love hate relationship. 

Panels mended our shattered bond. 

It gives me a much more stable surface to draw, and a paint friendly surface to finish.

*If your not into drawing you can also trace then transfer onto the panel as well.

 Once I had my letter stencil down, I pulled my little bird up on the laptop and drew out the rough sketch. 
I then grabbed my new Martha Stewart (sorry Mom) stencil kit and placed a branch under the bird's feet.This also gave me a chance to figure out the placement I wanted.

Now comes the fun part, the Sharpie! I fine tuned the bird and used it to shade some areas to add more definition to the sketch.

Now if you so this with a extra fine tip, you have a little more control over the lines. A fine tip is ok to use as well. Just be aware of the pressure on the panel.

Then I let the ink dry, about 15 minutes.

Grabbing the stencil once again and tapped down all the edges to the panel to avoid accidentally moving it during the painting process.

I selected three main colors for the picture. Then started working them on the stencil. Dabbing in a direct up and down motion.

 Much like a stabbing motion when your dealing with customer services agents and they give you another phone number which you must call to get help.
 Once my colors were down I slowly peeled the stencil back and let the paint sit for at least half an hour, plus some. The more paint you use the longer the dry time or something like that.
 While the panel dried I painted the B with a combination of blue and white paint. Then set it aside to dry as well.

Break to make, nom, nom....knit a little...then back to work.

Now to paint the bird. I used some of the same blue color that I used to paint the letter and mixed it with a little water. Creating the soft pastel affect of the feathers. The used the true shade of blue (no mixing) and shaded.

 Then using the color from the branch, a touch of white, and little water, I finished off the inner shading on the belly, tail, and around the eyes.
 Sharpie Time again! Time to trace all the lovely branches and berries to give them a little more definition. Also, going over the bird again to bring back the bold lines I covered up in paint.

To finish, I used a combination of water, white paint, and the small amount of light blue mixture I had left and shaded in a sky blue background around the bird and branches as well as the "B" outline.

 Another all time favorite, wood glue. Spreading a thin layer on the back of the letter, I pressed it down firmly onto the canvas and let it dry.
 With the canvas dry, the letter secured, and my Sharpie bleed dry with a signature, the picture is done.

I found an old frame I bought at Ross long ago and set it in (no glass please).

Now to sit back and enjoy my new piece of personal art...

So if you want to try this yourself, you will need:

-Pencil (and tracing paper if needed)
-An Extra Fine or Fine Sharpie pen
-Panel Canvas
-Stencil ( I highly recommend Martha's)
-Wood Glue
-1 wood letter (4")

Have fun! XoXo,