Friday, 3 December 2021

Kit of the Month Large Whimsical Birds - Zoë Sanderson

Well is this month's kit a package of fun or what!  It is the latest addition to the Whimsical Range this time Large Whimsical Birds.  As with all the Whimsical range you get laser cut boards with various elements allowing you to build up your birds however you want.

This is my Large Whimsical Bird Family.   Let me introduce you to them and show you how they ended up like this!

When you first get your kit it will contain 3 Plain A4 sized (295mm x 208mm) Tando Boards.  On top of which there are 2 laser cut boards with legs/feet, wings and eyes cut ready to be released as required. There are also 3 main body pieces and 2 head pieces and a separate beak!  Thats a lot of chip board for you to mix and match.

The first thing I did was release a lot of the parts from the boards and started to arrange them to see how my birds might look.  Remember this is just a first try out until things are stuck together you can change your mind and make as many different arrangements as you like.

With the beginnings of some ideas it was time to focus on just one bird.  For starters I worked with the the middle bird in the picture.  I also pulled out a few bits from other other Tando packs to add to it and the overall them of Whimsical or as I like to think of it Quirky.

Everything was then given a base coat of white Gesso.   Gesso was developed for artists to use as a preparation base on their canvas especially for Acrylic paints.  It is used a lot now to cover over something you might not like and start again or to soften bold colours helping to knock them back into the background.  With board like this it also acts as a sealant so your bright acrylic paints stay on the surface and are not dulled by being soaked into the board.  Generally with your Tando board if you are going to paint it then it is good practice to give it a coat of Gesso first.

Once the gesso was dry it was time to start painting. 
I choose to use DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics because they give good coverage and strong colour.   It was always my intention with these birds that they should be bright, bold, loud and silly.  So starting as I meant to go on bird one is predominantly Green and Blue.  The body needed something more than just a flat green colour so an old folk art stencil got plonked on top with yellow paint daubed through it.   The eyes although already gessoed white needed to be a coat of white paint to keep them as bright as everything else.  Red paint touched around the edges of the eyes making them look a little bloodshot.

When the various elements were dry everything was stuck together with PVC glue.  A good wet glue is best for this job, you can just run it around the edges and then add a scribble of glue in the middle and everything should be secure.

Turning to the other birds I looked again at the layout of them and played around a little, I also decided to add some of the Whimsical Birds from a previous set.  This allowed me to used the elements in yet more different combinations.

At this points everything not already given a coat of Gesso received one.  It was time to start on the second bird.

Using a Tando stencil and DecoArt Modelling paste the body of this bird was given some texture.  You can be as neat and tidy as you want doing something like this.  I like messy with some of the paste going over the edges and some of the circles not completely filled as it just adds to the overall somewhat wacky finish.

If you use paste like this through a stencil remember to remove and clean your stencil quickly.  If the paste dries on it then you will not be able to remove it which might make your stencil unusable in the future.

While waiting for the paste to dry I played with an acrylic pour on one of the plain boards which eventually became the backing for this project.

Time now to get the paints out again.    First of all the whole body, and while I was at it all the gesso readied boards, were painted.   Then on the 2nd bird body the stencil was put back on for yellow and red paint to be daubed through.  As with the paste I was not looking for a neat and tidy precise result and didn't get one. 

For the Third body I took an idea that I first saw on Project Runway about 10 years ago, it might have been longer thinking about it.  Anyway the designers on the show were given the challenge to make clothing out of the raw materials from a newspaper printers (New York Times I think it was).  One designer made an amazing trench coat complete with faux fur collar and cuffs.   To get the "fur" effect she used small pieces of the paper crumpled and then allowed to relax slightly before being glued into place. 

Very happy to take this idea and run with it, using some printed tissue from the stash mountain.  I die cut lots of circles in 3 different sizes.   The smallest for the outer edges and for those tighter little places such as the top of the beak just below the eyes.

To attach the tissue paper I applied gel medium first of all at the side worked on that, then the other side and finally the middle.  Gel medium does allow you a little time to work and move things around if you need to so using it here and doing just a bit at a time gave me the opportunity to make sure my tissue ruffles were as snug as I wanted them.

The Wings were added last and again I used the gel medium to fit them over the ruffles.

So now my Large Whimsical birds are complete. Here they are:




If nothing else I hope you have had fun reading this!

Products Used.

Other Tando
Stencil Grid Round

Decorate Media Modelling Paste

Tissue paper, Gel Medium and PVC glue from my stash.

No comments: