And just like that, it is the last week of the winter semester! This is also my last week of uni classes for my education degree!!!
Mother Nature has been giving us tastes here and there of some wonderful warm weather. With warmer weather, the chirp chirp chirping of birds has returned. And those little birdies inspired my final Learning Project post.
Two summers ago, my dad and I found a pile of old license plates in our shed and started building bird houses. We used the license plates as the roofs and used 3/4″ plywood to build the walls and floor. These six houses are just some of the ones we’ve built. The only bird house of these six that we still have at home (the rest are at the lake) is the blue one in the back left. This is actually one of my favourite ones, so that’s what I used as a guide. I’ll explain more later in this post!
I knew that for my final Learning Project post and painting I wanted to create a bird house and use some of the techniques I’ve learned while learning how to paint with acrylics. I remember from my very first learning project post that I wanted to paint a photo that I had taken. I went digging through my Photo’s on my laptop and found the one I was looking for:
I LOVE this photo, it just looks so peaceful and serene. I also love sunsets, and that was just the cherry on top! I figured that this photo would pose a nice challenge I hadn’t tackled yet; using/blending yellows and blues WITHOUT making green.
So now I’m just going to hop right into the process of building the birdhouse!! But first, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to my dad for being patient with me and for helping me not lose any fingers while using the power tools (haha).
The first thing that I did was take the license plate roof off of the Blue Spoon house. I decided to dance around a few corners and just trace the sides instead of fighting with a measuring tape (it worked!).
The next step was to trace the back of the house onto the sheet of plywood. Once that piece was cut out, I traced that piece again on the plywood, that way they would be as close to the same as possible (hopefully). Once the front and back were cut out, I moved onto measuring the sides of the Blue Spoon house and drawing those out on the plywood. The sides measured out to be 3 ½” x 7″, easy enough! Below you can see me using a jig saw to cut these pieces out. A skill saw freaks me out, so that’s why I chose to use the jig saw, plus with a jig saw I find it is a lot easier to control! After all four sides and the bottom were cut out, it was time to sand the outsides down to make it smooth for the paint.
Now that the ‘hard work’ was over it was time to paint. I brought all four side pieces into the kitchen, laid some paper down and started to think.
I had originally wanted to paint my photo as a scene across all four sides, almost like a panorama. I ended up deciding against that and only choosing to paint the photo scene on the front and the back sides of the bird house. I love looking at flowers and I have always loved how lavender looks painted. I decided I wanted to learn a new technique so I hopped over to Youtube to learn how to paint lavender. I found a video tutorial that used cotton swabs to paint the lavender. “Well this is COOL,” I thought to myself. I clicked that video and watched it through before I started to paint, just to make sure it wasn’t too challenging! This is the video:
So after watching the video through, I restarted the tutorial and started to paint!
I actually really enjoyed this tutorial and learned quite a bit about shadows and highlights! Throughout this whole learning project I have used paintbrushes, palette knives and now cotton swabs. It is so refreshing and interesting to know that you don’t need the most expensive materials to create art!
Next up, it was time to paint my photo. This was a bit challenging. I had several mistakes where the blue and yellow mixed together and made green. This was frustrating. But I learned to wait for the yellow paint to dry before I added the blue and this seemed to solve my little dilemma.
So now all four sides were painted, it was time to nail them together and to add the license plate roof!
Here it is, the final bird house all put together! I ended up painting the edges with black paint, made the scenes stand out a bit more! I am super happy with how this turned out. I know that there are some minor things I wish I could change or wish I would have done differently, but I’m still happy nonetheless!
And that my friends, is a wrap on my Learning Project. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use acrylic paints and learning new techniques. I found that following painting tutorials on Youtube was one of my favourite ways to learn. I also found that reading step by step tutorials was useful in some painting situations. As soon as I would finish a painting, I often found myself disappointed if it didn’t look like the tutorial or picture I was following. I know I am a perfectionist, so this was hard for me when aspects weren’t identical. I would just have to remind myself that I am a beginner, and in no means am I a Bob Ross and that he would just call the mistakes I made “happy little accidents”.
I am proud of myself for what I have learned and how I have improved since I first started this painting journey. Thank you for following along with me!