You Love Bird Paintings? You love Abstract or Textured artwork? You have 2 ounces of creativity and want to try this out. Then here you go! As you can see from the picture, I’m going to walk you through the process of making this project for yourself. It is not difficult, it is fun, and enjoyable. So sit back and read on. Then make it happen. Share pictures of how your painting looks when you are completed.
**Disclaimer: This is my first stab at a tutorial, so bear with me & give me some feedback on how to make this better. As well as, comment below with any questions you might have on the process.
BEFORE YOU START:
Gather up the supplies needed.
- Canvas (primed or Gesso’d)
- Palette Knife
- Paint Tray
- Sponge (Optional)
- Acrylic Paint (I used Soho, System 3, & Liquitex) *Bonus Water Clean Up with Acrylic
- Modeling Paste (Create Texture) *I Used half of this jar on a 24in x 36in Painting. A Small size would work for you, depending on size.
- Easel, or equivalent to hold your canvas
STEP 1: Grab Your Canvas
Beginning is always the best part. Tackling a new project. Grab your canvas and find a Spot. *That’s it with Step 1, let’s feel accomplished!
STEP 2: Add Texture
In my opinion, this is one of my favorite parts. Using a palette knife, spread the Modeling Paste all over the canvas. There is no order here. Slap it on there. Spread it like butter. Fling it on there. To get some of the streaks in my painting, I would use my large brush (shown in my supply picture) to fling Modeling Paste toward the canvas.
I encourage you to be expressive in this portion of the painting. You won’t and can’t mess anything up on the painting. This is a White substance going onto a white primed canvas. This is simply adding texture. Who says painting can’t be fun? Have fun with this step. Allow time to dry completely.
CAUTION: This Process is A LOT of fun, but it can also be the messiest part of this painting. Ensure you are in a location to handle mess.
STEP 3: Some Color Brings It To Life
We are now ready to start adding color. Don’t get nervous, because in painting, you can always paint over a color you don’t like.
Start with the primary color of your painting. In my case, it was this Greenish Color. To start safe, I began around the edges, slowly working around the whole painting. Don’t think of this as a wall, you know where you paint straight lines and crisp edges. Use some of that expression you used during the texture phase last step. Leave a little white in some areas, paint really thick in other areas.
To help lighten your paint, dip the tip of your brush in some water then grab some more paint. This will make more of a wash with your paint. Kind of like a stain, instead of a thick paint. Also, another helpful technique is using a spray bottle with water. Add the paint to the painting, then spray down the freshly added paint. This will allow for some drips, and thin the paint out. Move it all around. You will notice, this creates some variations of light and dark, all within your color palette.
Your painting is starting to come to life, and in your color of your choice. Allow to dry completely.
STEP 4: Darken Those Edges
Adding some Pop happens with contrast.
By painting all the edges a dark color will help bring the main content to life. It will aslo make this painting feel more professional and complete.
I wouldn’t use a straight black, as this can be very intense. Take a color from your palette and add Black to it. This will create a very rich color for using around the edges. Paint it on thick and let it dry.
TRICK: A cool way to get some more texture and look grunge is by using your palette knife to add paint to the border, the transition between the green and the edge of the painting.
STEP 5: More Color
Let’s focus on the main area. This is where you will want to make the final color decisions. This main color green didn’t have enough life for me, so I added some more variations of green to it. I used a range of green that was lighter, and I used green that was just about blue. The blue didn’t work out to much, so I had to cover over that.
I used more variations in color here, like in Step 3. Wash on some more color. This will create some nice color texture to the already visual texture from the Modeling Paste. These textures should compliment each other.
TRICK: Use a Sponge near the dark edges. This will help to create a scattered effect, and not cover too much of the dark color. If you are not happy with it, go back over the dark areas once the color is dry.
STEP 6: Birdy Time
I bet you have been patiently waiting for this step. Once you color is nice and dry, you can easily paint a Wire by using a string. Stretch a string from left to right, tape it down, then paint with a small stiff brush your Wire for the birds to sit on. I used a paint color very similar to the dark color for the edges, that way the wire seems to blend into the edges.
Position the birds where you would like them. A trick is to trace out with a pencil where you want them to live. You can erase the pencil if you make a mistake. Trace out a silhouette of your birds. You can place as many or few as you would like. I choose 2, as to represent my wife and I. I plan to add more as we start to have children, to represent a family portrait.
Once traced out, start to paint the birds. I used a stiff brush to paint the edge of the birds, then filled in with the remaining paint. I used a dark color, similar to the edges and wire for consistency. The dark in the edges really bring to the life the birds as well as make the color pop.
STEP 7: Sign It & Hang it
My favorite part is signing and hanging a painting. To get an actual representation of where your painting will live on the wall. There is so much joy and satisfaction to sit and look back, while thinking… I painted that!?!
I hope you enjoy trying out your very own Birdy Painting. I hope this tutorial will help you out. Feel free to ask questions. Share some photos of your painting, because I would love to see how I was able to help you out.
Thanks for checking this out!