The 52-Week Art Project – Garden Critters
I was blown away by all the incredible critters you fabulous artists have created this week! It was week 3 and the prompt was Critters In The Garden. We had paintings, some pencil and ink drawings and we even had clay sculptures! Your creativity is so inspiring. I love seeing how each person interprets the prompts in their own way.
In this post I'll be sharing my process, supplies and throughts behind the painting I made. To see the art created by all the other participants, scroll down to the end of this page, then just click on any of the thumbnails to open the original post by the artist. Enjoy!
Char's Garden Critters
Lately I have been thinking about my childhood in Africa a lot, and suddenly wild Guinea Fowl popped into my head - they used to come by my aunt's garden regularly and were a treat to watch. So this week I decided to have a go at painting Guinea Fowl!
I only managed one piece this week, and even then, I almost skipped it completely. I just struggled to get to it - chronic illness makes consistency quite a challenge, so to anybody else taking part, remember: your health comes first, there's no pressure here - just do what you can when you can and most of all, have fun getting messy!
These little critters are not too difficult to paint, they have a leaf-shaped body with a little drooping tail feather end and some little hanging bits under their chins.
They are quite monochrome in real life, so I took the liberty of brightening them up a bit. I chose just 2 colours again this week and white for the details. I quite enjoyed the blending that was going on, so I decided to paint some colourful feathers too.
Oddly enough, the first one I made is my favourite, the one on the bottom left. The last one I painted went horribly wrong when its legs were in completely the wrong place and angle, so I frantically tried to lift the paint off the paper - as one usually can with watercolours - but this magenta just wouldn't budge. *eek*
So let me introduce Bebé Birdie, cleverly hiding Mama-bird's crooked legs. Then, just when all was fixed I went and dropped my brush, messing more magenta all over the place. *weeps* So I lifted off as much as I could and then used white paint to cover it up. It's still visible, but not too in-your-face. Thanks to M.E. for my shaky hands. All things considering, I think they turned out okay. I do love the feathers!
* Click on image to zoom in.
Supplies For Fanciful Fowl:
- Hot pressed watercolour paper
- Cerulean Blue, Quinacridone Magenta & White gouache
- Squirrel Mop Brush & Fine 00 Brush
- White Gel Pen & Fine Liners
Once again I painted while in bed, so my handy over-the-bed-desk has really been indispensible. An adjustable bed tray/easel would work really well too if putting a desk together is not something you can manage at this time.
How To Make It
First, select a blue and a pink or red shade of paint. Then, prepare your paint in the pallette. I squeezed out some white, blue and magenta, then created a watered down version of each. This way, you will have a range of shades to work with.
Both the birds and the feathers have leaf shapes which the mop brush makes pretty easily due to already being in that shape. So using the mop brush and the watered down magenta, create the general shape of Guinea Fowl. Add on the head and neck and remember to add a droopy bit for the tail.
Using the watered down blue, drop some colour onto the head and neck. Guinea fowl have blue on their faces in real life too. And the dangly bits under their chins, and their beaks are red. So go ahead and add more magenta to those areas.
Since the paint is wet, the colours will bleed into each other, just let the colours do their thing. You can also drop some blue dots around the body if you'd like to. I did it on the feathers, but not the birds. Although I didn't clean my mop brush too much so the magenta did turn purple in some areas.
Using the fine brush and dipping into the darker magenta shade, paint in the legs. Bird legs bend opposite to human legs, so coming down from the body, they first go backwards towards the tail end, and then the "knees" bend forward towards the head end. Three toes forward and one little one off the back of the leg.
Once your birds are dry, dip your clean brush into some white paint. Then, tapping your brush with your hand, let the white paint splatter all over your Guinea Fowl or your can paint the dots on by hand. I did both.
On the feathers you can use a white gel pen to add the spine of the feather and some highlights or slits that go from the outer border towards the spine of the feather. At the end you can use your black pen to draw an eye on each bird.
Want To Join Us?
If you missed the previous prompts, it's not a problem, you're welcome to jump in at any point and join us on this arty adventure! It's a no pressure project, not a stressful challenge, so you can take your time and just participate when you're able.
This project was created with chronically ill people in mind, so enjoy the process when you can and just browse the gallery when you can't participate yourself.
The prompts can be interpreted using any medium you like. Some have chosen to use the prompts to decorate their journals while others are using this project to process thoughts and feelings, like therapy. You might feel like you're not really creative, but believe me, you can still created some lovely pieces all the same!
Remember: There are no mistakes in art! The benefits are in the freedom of the messy process, just enjoying the colours and shapes as they appear. Getting lost in the moment. It's quite therapeutic.
Share Your Art In The #CH52art Gallery!
I've created a gallery to showcase all our art in one place, you can see it below. To participate, simply upload your art to your social media using the #CH52art hashtag or just upload it directly to the gallery at ChronicallyHopeful.com/gallery.
Simply click the blue "add your link" button below to get started.
If your image is already on social media then you simply paste the link to your post in the box and your image will be loaded. If you're not linking to a social media post, simply select the "without a link" option and upload your image from your device.
Add a caption or leave the default one as is. Your email address is also required, this will let you know of updates to the gallery and make the process easier next time.
The #CH52art Gallery
Week 4's Prompt Is: Winter Woolies
You may use any medium you like to interpret the prompt, then upload a photo of your creation to your social media using the hashtag #CH52art or upload it directly into the gallery at ChronicallyHopeful.com/gallery for others to enjoy! Visit the gallery at any time to admire all the fabulous art.
For daily updates on this project and weekly share threads, you can follow along on Facebook or Instagram. I will however also create a post here at the start of each week for those who don't have social media accounts.
For participants in the Southern Hemisphere, feel free to switch to the summer set of prompts if our wintery themes in this current set of prompts is just not sitting well for you. We'd love to see your creations and you're welcome to add them to the same gallery. If you're struggling to upload them, feel free to email your photos to me and I'll add them to the gallery. Happy creating!
The gallery has a limit to how many images it can hold, so after 4 weeks, or 50 entries, I will create a new one. The old galleries will no longer be open for new additions, but will remain visible wherever they are posted.
Remember to use the #CH52art hashtag when sharing your art to be found and also featured on my Instagram and Facebook stories!
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