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How to Easily Paint a Bird

How to Easily Paint a Bird's Nest with Priscilla Hauser using FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints!

Are you tired of all this cold, wintry weather?  Are you thinking happy thoughts of warm spring breezes blowing, birds chirping and flowers blooming?  So am I!  Today I thought it would be fun to share an easy-to-paint bird nest and egg project that Priscilla Hauser painted for me.

This project incorporates the use of a "script-style" scrapbook paper and Mod Podge to decoupage an interesting background on a burlap stretched canvas which is perfect for our bird's nest painting.  Don't you think?  Priscilla also paints with FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints which are wonderful on wood, metal, terra cotta, canvas, fabrics, glass or ceramics and decoupaged surfaces!  Let's gather the necessary supplies .....

  • 6" x 6" Burlap Stretched Canvas
  • Script-style Scrapbook paper (torn to a 5" x 5" square)
  • CS11302  Mod Podge Matte
  • 2894  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Wicker White
  • 2907  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Bark Brown
  • 2910  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Yellow Ochre
  • 2912  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Daffodil Yellow
  • 2922  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Deep Ocean Blue
  • 2927  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Medium Blue
  • 2934  FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic - Licorice
  • Miscellaneous:  Brush Basin or container for water, Paper Towels, Foam Plate for palette, 1" Foam Brush, Mod Podge Brayer, Waxed Paper, 3/4" Flat Brush, No. 12 Flat Brush, Large Fan Brush, No. 1 Liner Brush, Old Toothbrush

Priscilla shows us to begin by tearing your script-style scrapbook paper into a 5" x 5" square.  Lay a sheet of waxed paper over your work surface; then position the torn scrapbook square over the waxed paper face (or script side) down.  Liberally brush a coat of Mod Podge Matte over the backside of the paper using a 1" foam applicator.

Next, flip the Mod Podged paper square over; centering it on the burlap square canvas.  Then place a clean sheet of waxed paper over the canvas and paper.  Using the Mod Podge Brayer, press the paper to the canvas smoothing from the center out to the edges releasing any captured air pockets as well as removing any excess Mod Podge.  Next step ... lift to remove the waxed paper and allow to dry 15 minutes.

Priscilla then brushed a coat of Mod Podge over the surface especially the torn paper edges to seal the scrapbook paper to the burlap canvas.   Allow this top coat of Mod Podge to dry before continuing onto the next step.

The bird nest can be painted either free-hand or with the help of a traced and transferred pattern.  Priscilla's pattern can be found here.  Priscilla then begins by painting the oval shape of the bird's nest using a large flat brush loaded with Bark Brown.  You can see that she is painting the exterior oval shape and for now, not painting the interior of the nest where the egg will be painted.  Adding a touch of Licorice at the base of the oval shape as shown in this photo will create a shadow behind the egg.

Priscilla now shows us how she used a large fan brush loaded with Yellow Ochre to begin adding highlights. Notice how she continues painting the oval shape of the bird nest.  Next additional highlights of Daffodil Yellow were added.

Switching to a loaded No. 1 liner brush, Priscilla shows us how to begin adding the detail small "twigs" or "sticks" to the nest.  Individually paint liner brush twigs using Licorice, Bark Brown, Yellow Ochre, Daffodil Yellow and a touch of Wicker White.  Be sure to paint with a loose touch creating wavy strands rather than straight sticks.   TIP:  To allow the paint to flow freely from the liner brush, thin the color first using a touch of water.  Paint thinned to an ink-like consistency will flow from your liner brush like ink from a fountain pen.

Once satisfied with the painted nest, Priscilla moves on to painting the bird egg.  She basecoats the egg shape with a couple applications of Wicker White to hide the scrapbook paper design.  She then begins adding the blue color to the egg.  Using Deep Ocean Blue or Medium Blue shade the base or bottom of the egg; pulling some blue upwards into the body of the egg.  If desired, add a touch of Wicker White as a highlight to the top of the egg.

Creating "extra touches" in her paintings is what Priscilla is all about ... she now teaches us how to "flyspeck" Bark Brown with a touch of Licorice over the entire nest and egg.  TIP:  To flyspeck, moisten an old toothbrush with water, blot on a paper towel and then load the bristles with thinned paint; direct the bristles downward and run your thumb along the bristles.  Tiny flecks of paint will fall onto the painted surface.

Priscilla paints a golden hue behind the bird nest by side loading a large flat brush with Yellow Ochre.  While keeping the Yellow Ochre side of the flat brush next to the painted bird's nest, she pats on the paint creating a light wash of color.

Next, Priscilla deepens the color closest to the nest by adding a touch of Bark Brown.

Using that same side loaded Bark Brown brush, Priscilla now creates a shadow around the edges of the canvas while keeping the Bark Brown side of the brush closest to the torn paper edge.  This shadowed edge can be deepened with a touch of Licorice where desired.

And here is a look at Priscilla's completed bird nest project.  Don't you love how easy she made it?  When you follow step-by-step along with Priscilla Hauser, it is almost like she is right there beside you painting along with you!

Posted: 2/24/2015 8:02:00 AM by LEAP | with 1 comments
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Florence Simancas
Love this. Is there a you tube tutorial?
9/16/2017 11:32:48 AM

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