Our backyard bird feeder seems busier than ever this summer!
All my life, I've loved birds of every kind. I'm fascinated by that (admittedly idealistic) idea of soaring upward into blue freedom ...
So today, inspired by my backyard beauties, I'm posting some art made with my bird stencils. But first, a quick backstory:
During painting projects, when I've finished using a brush, I wipe it free of excess acrylic paint before dunking it into water; that's to minimize the amount of paint that ends up going down the drain, which ultimately harms the environment.
The result of this practice is a build-up of papers smeared with oddly assorted colors, layered and blended. I call them my "catch-all" papers.
Below are two of my catch-all papers:
What to do with these papers? Why not grab some stencils? -- with an eye to picking designs with openings large enough to make for easy tracing along the edges that define each image.
Starting with my 6" x 6" Heron stencil, I place it over some paint-smeared paper. To make the next step easier, I use masking tape to secure both the stencil and the paper --
|6" x 6" stencil Heron|
To trace around the design, I use watercolor pencil, since that can quickly be removed after it's no longer needed. With Heron I use a white watercolor pencil to do the tracing --
|Above: The heron has been cut out with fine-detail scissors and placed on the cover of a white blank greeting card (these blank greeting cards come from JAMPaper.com.|
I enjoy making greeting cards, but these cut-outs can be used in all the paper arts -- from art journals to scrapbooks to book arts. Below is the finished greeting card cover....
|Above: Made using 6" x 6" stencil Heron|
I used the same idea in creating the giftbags below; but instead of catch-all, paint-smeared paper as my base, I used an assortment of stencil-printed papers that I had preciously cut up and glued randomly to a lightweight cardboard backing.
Sidestepping to another short backstory:
Because I have a nearly endless supply of stencil- and mask-printed papers, I send some of them to the chop-shop, as shown below --
Then I use a gluestick to randomly add them to cardstock; after gluing down each scrap, I go over it with a soft rubber brayer, just to make sure it's going to adhere evenly....
Below: an example of one scrap-combo sheet after its cardstock support is full --
|After doing a watercolor pencil tracing inside the Heron stencil, I've cut it out, using an X-ACTO|
knife and a self-healing cutting mat. This Heron cut-out is one of several that I'm making.
Next, I tie ribbon around the heron's neck and, with the same gluestick and soft rubber brayer, I secure it to the side of a giftbag:
|Full-view of the giftbag.|
Below: a close-up of this giftbag; blank giftbags are available from several vendors, including this one. This batch of giftbags has previously been sprayed with a barely-visible sheen of metallic gold watercolor --
|Above: Made using 6" x 6" stencil Heron.|
|Made with one of the two osprey from my 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings. This bird silhouette is also available in Artist Trading Card size here; on that same 9" x 12" Mylar sheet, more of my bird friends appear-- a swan and a penguin.|
|Above: Close-up of one of the two osprey from my 6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings on a gold-sprayed giftbag.|
Below is a full-view as well as a close-up of another giftbag, this one decorated with one of the two bird silhouettes included in my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots....
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