Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Deco Art Products used: Americana acrylics in: Moon Yellow, Jack O lantern orange, Butterscotch, Sable Brown, Asphaltum, Traditional burnt Sienna, Blue Chiffon, Snow White, Lamp Black.
Americana Metallic Gold , Dazzling Metallics in Medieval Gold, Venetian Gold, Champagne Gold
Deco Art Media: white gesso and matte varnish
Stencils for background by Nellie Snellen (Dots) and Dutch Doobadoo (fabric)
Letters: Cricut Expression with Base Camp Cartridge

I love Dodos, they are not the most beautiful birds (they are rather ugly to be honest), so that is not the reason, it's the bit of mystery that come with the Dodo.

There are paintings and skeletons but the painting were rarely painted with a life bird as a model and that is why there are so many different shapes when you look at Dodos in paintings. Because I am just starting at acrylic painting, the bird seemed a good subject to practise on, afteral no one really knows what it looked like so that helps if you are just starting out lol.

First I collected all kind of Dodo images on pinterest to see how they were drawn and painted and looked at some skeletons. Next I picked a painting of a Dodo that I liked the most.

So here my reference image, a painting by Jan Savery (1651), I made a screenshot on my phone and used that as an example, I had no intention of copying the painting but I do need a reference so...

Ok if you compare them you will see a big difference but as I said I don't have much experience in acrylic painting and I am very happy how it turned out.  I have taken pictures while I was painting so will show those here for you to see how I did it.

I did not paint on a canvas, maybe I should have but I had no idea how it would turn out and that is why I used my Art Journal, the big Dylusions creative journal. It's less scary as using a canvas and seems less of a waste to practice on paper. Other reason to work in a journal is I like the size and I love having a collection of paintings you can flip through in a book.

First step was painting the page Moon Yellow , I did not gesso the page , just added a layer of yellow.
Next I sketched the bird using a charcoal pencil, just the shape is enough.
Step 2 Gesso the bird to create a white surface and cover the lines of th charcoal as it will smudge in the paint. The lines will still show throw the Gesso but they won't smudge anymore.

Step 3: the challenge begun.....started with the beak and the head and did not think about how I had to paint the rest yet. I used lamp black paint and a small paint brush to kinda map in the details and shade of the beak and face.
Step 4: giving myself some directions where the shades and highlights would be using black and chiffon blue. And trying to find a color to use for the head and body. I tried Drift wood first which is the greyish color and did not like it so swithed to saddle brown.

step 5  practising how to get a feathered look and dabbing with a very little paint seemed to work best to get the small feathers on the head and body

Step 6: working in the small feathers using different shades of brown and finish the face/beak. 
The shades are a mix of  Asphaltum with a little black. the highlights are chiffon blue .

Step 7: the wings have bigger feathers a bit like a chicken yellow ish with brown and black. 

When I thought the Dodo was ready I started the background and sponged Jack O lantern orange over the yellow.

Step 8: I wanted to do a bit of a Klimt like background so used different golds and white and stencils to create patterns. the circles a stamped using different sizes of round items, a glass, lids  anything that wold fit inside the bigger circle to work to the small center .
I used masks made out of copier paper to cover the circles and the bird .
I added some layers of matte varnish for protection

I thought the left corner below needed something more so used my Cricut to cut out the word Extinct out of polka dot paper.

Here it is, my take on a Dodo, I am happy with the result :-)

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