Blue Jay Gift

 
This project was a special gift for a friend, obviously made in 2015.
I wanted to make something that reflected certain elements of her backyard, where I often pointed out bird species.

I started by sketching a blue jay and tracing it in black pen.

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Now I tried out my gelatos for the first time, rubbing them on my craft mat, spraying the color with water, and using a rough stencil brush to rub the color onto the background.

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Now I added suggestions of the outline of her backyard: brick wall to the left with greenery peeking out, more green to the right, and the curved inward arch of her patio.
I knew that she particularly liked a design similar to this stencil, so I used it to create a shimmery pattern using ice blue metallic paint.

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I used square-cut sponges to add a series of nine “bricks” outlining the “patio” and natural sponges to add more greenery, as well as a bit more texture below the “bricks”.

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I colored the blue jay and added lots of personalized embellishments, including the numbers for the year.
I mounted the paper on the same-size hard canvas board, and added a personal note on the back. 🙂

 
NOTE:
If I was making this now, I would have a better sense of how to keep the paper from buckling and curling:
If I was using watercolor paper or something similar, I would tape it down on all four sides to a piece of mat board or something — like I do with my use-up-the-paint papers like Blue Swirl Random.
Otherwise, I would use a super-thick, board-style paper, a canvas, or even wood.

 

Here’s the step by step slideshow with extra pics:

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