{Summer School Art: Painting the Birds}

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All you Summer School Art people are so cool! I've loved getting links to your creativity and seeing the tweaks you've made to add your touch to them. Can't wait to see more if Mr. Linky will join us! Okay, today's lesson is for the birds...I mean bird-lovers, which seems to be every mommy-blogger out there, no?

These prints are from Pottery Barn, and no longer available-but have no fear-we can make our own!

Okay, got your supplies? Want to try a spotted woodpecker?

Here we go...start with a pencil outline. If you want to trace a photo or picture (or this one), trace away.

I used my kids' black paint to paint a thick outline of the body, head, back and tail. Use thinner strokes for the legs and feet-are they feet? claws? talons? whatever...

Next, add a little bit of water to some of your black paint. Paint a watery line on the tummy. This is also when you can add white spots on the tail. I used the eraser of a pencil to make the small circles, but a little paint on the tip of your pinky will work, too. Test on a separate paper first, till you find the effect you want. Then set it aside and wait for it to dry a bit.

All dry? Okay, grab your kids' sidewalk chalk and fill in the body. Have oil pastels or chalk pastels? Even better. Use what you have. And smudge with your fingers. Add markings on the back and wing, too. Use a coral color for the body, and a red shade for the head and underbelly.

Tip: To keep your finished chalk masterpieces (or your kids') smudge proof, spray with Aqua Net, or your brand of hairspray-it dries fast and clear and allows you to stack and store-or frame.

Want to try another? How about a Pheasant? Don't you just love Pheasant feathers? Me too. Okay, I'm switching paints here...now I'm pulling out my watercolors...don't have any? Remember from yesterday's lesson, I used my kids' watercolors.

Again, trace or freehand a bird you like. Now paint the entire body in a watery brown water color. Add less water to the brown you'll use on the head, tail, tummy and legs.

Don't worry about letting it dry before you add black and brown dots. Darken the head, beak and neck with more the same paint you used for the dots.

Mix just a smidgen of red water color. You won't need much at all. Add a touch around the eye. Now, with a black felt-tip pen, outline the body, legs and beak. Use the pen to add feathers and define the tail. When it's dry- you're done!

Frame in gilt frames, and you've got a PB-worthy wall! Take a pic, and link up tomorrow! (You all know I mean Pottery Barn-worthy wall, not Peanut Butter-worthy wall, right? oh good. I knew you guys were quick!)

Want more techniques for feather painting? Start with this book:

The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas

Now tomorrow YOU are the leader! Get ready to link up for projects and invite us over to be inspired!

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6 Creative People Had This To Say:

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

You are such the artist!! Love this art project! Those are great birds--thanks for taking us through the steps!

Amy Guerino said...

I found your fun week at the tail end of it...but you are inspiring me to do some stuff with my kids this summer. Thanks for the great ideas!

Mrs. Bianca said...

I don't know who Mr. Linky is, but I'm curious to know! Anyway, I'll have to show you our painting session. Not a bird, but still. I'll see if I can take a picture and upload. (and yes, it is a small "running" world!)

A.D said...


Sarah Mae said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh.....you are SO talented! {chanting} Etsy, etsy, etsy!

I think I can do this...I think I can I think I can...

Shelley Whiting said...

Those birds turned out excellent. I especially love the step by step instructions.