Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Yellowthroated Warbler" painted in oil

Just wrapping up the "Alphabet Mini Painting Challenge" this month, these two images show the oil paintings I did for the letter "Y" and yesterday's letter "X".   The "common yellow-throated warbler" was a fun little painting I did on a 6x6" deep gallery wrapped canvas.  I thought it would look good on a bright colored red background to show off such a pretty colored "bird."

Yesterday's challenge was the letter "X".  I painted an "Xantus" Hummingbird.  They are different looking than what I get in by own backyard, but interesting birds.  They are a "Mexican Hummingbird."  It was a little difficult to find a bird that began with the letter "X" so I am just happy I found one.  This one is painted in oil on a 4x4" canvas panel.

There is only one more to go in the challenge for me, the letter "Z".  Several of the artists have already finished the challenge, but I am running about 2 days behind.  There is one or two others that are also working on the remainder of their paintings.  It was a fun little summer motivational project, but it is time to get down to some serious work now.

Barbara Rudolph

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Miniature Bird Paintings in Oil - Alphabet Mini Challenge Continued

The Alphabet Mini Painting Challenge Continued... 

I haven't had a chance to post some of my new little "bird oil paintings" from the "Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge," so I put a grouping of them here.  The artists that are participating have each been posting them on Facebook every day.  It is fun to see what the other painters and sculptors are doing.     I have actually fallen two days behind now, but hope to catch up soon.  I will frame them up and some of them up will be for sale on my website or the next "Celebration of Fine Art" show, or at "The Hummingbird House" in Sedona.  

A few of the little "hummingbird" paintings I am bringing up to Sedona, Arizona for the "Hummingbird Festival" which is August 3-5th.  I will have some for sale at the "Hummingbird House" gift shops.

Here is also a link to the "Sedona Hummingbird Festival":

If you are in the area, be sure and visit the "Hummingbird House" at one or both of their locations at:
  • The Historic Hart Store, 100 Brewer Road  928-282-0705
  • The Hyatt Shops at Pinion Point, Uptown Sedona  928-282-8444  

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, June 22, 2012

Easy To Make Projects With Your Own Artwork

"O" Is for "Oriole"

Easy To Make Projects With Your Own Artwork
click on image above to see larger

Handmade Bookmark/Tag 
mixed media collage/painting
3.50 x 8.50" on watercolor paper

Not long ago I painted an "Oriole" for a client.  The painting was done in oil (on canvas) and then delivered to the client once finished.  I always photograph my paintings before they go off to their new owners, so I have built up quite a portfolio of my "bird" paintings now.   I needed an "oriole" for a series of miniature daily paintings I have been working on.  I decided to make a "handmade" "card" or "bookmark" out of some various materials I had on hand.  

They are very simple to make.  Here is how I did mine:

Supplies Needed:
Your printed image of your artwork
watercolor paper
canvas paper (if you can find it, or use whatever you have on hand)
hole punch
acrylic gel medium
misc. collage elements (see ideas below)
acrylic paint
thread, ribbon or string
gold paint pen (to outline border)
varnish (if desired)

1.  Make a copy of your painting on your home printer.  I found some pads of "canvas paper" at the crafts store, super cheap.  (Jo-Ann's or Michael's).  My pads are 5x7" with 36 sheets to a pad.  It works with either oil or acrylic, but I tried it in my little Epson printer, and it works great. The paper is light weight and has a nice tooth to it, which helps give your printed image the "original" look once printed.  (You can experiment with whatever paper your printer will accept), but it should be as thin and light as possible, because you will be coll-aging it onto heavy weight watercolor paper later.  

2.  Cut out or hand tear your watercolor paper to the size you want for your finished bookmarks.    I recommend doing it to a size that will fit nicely into your envelopes once finished.  You can use a nice linen envelope from the office supply store, or a beautiful parchment envelope from any craft store.  You can even make your own, but remember to leave plenty of room for your tassel/ribbon to be tucked into it once finished.  When I am making a group of these at one time, I will usually  make myself a little template out of foam core board to use to draw the exact shape of my cards onto the watercolor paper.  That way you don't have to spend so much time measuring each one out.  

3.  I paint my watercolor paper with acrylic paint, and then collage various things onto it leaving room for my "oriole" to be added.  I use acrylic gel matte medium for my collage elements.  I soak my papers first, and while wet apply gel matte to both sides with a sponge brush to adhere it.   Be careful not to tear your collage elements because they are more delicate when wet.  Once they dry though, they are there for good.  You can use a water bottle to spray your collage elements, but I just usually use a shallow Tupperware to soak them for just a few seconds first.

Some of the collage elements I love to use are:
  • old sheets of music paper
  • vintage postage stamps
  • old letters
  • textured papers that I tear up and gold leaf (wallpaper samples work great for this)
  • skeleton leafs
  • any pretty papers you have collected (stay away from glossy ones)
 Here are a few of my favorite stamps I have used in past projects:

Note:  All of your collage elements work fantastic with acrylic gel medium.  That is the "glue" that holds everything together.  The image of your artwork however, might have to be sprayed with adhesive if your printer ink runs.  You should do a little test first.  I sprayed my printed "oriole" on the back side with spray adhesive in this project, then I did some collage over it.  The home printed images cannot be soaked first, they will run, unless you have a printer that has color toner, like at Kinkos.  (Their printer ink works great and wont run, so your paper can be soaked in that case.)     

4.  Once all of your design elements are in place and are dry, you can add your finishing touches.  I  use a fat gold paint pen to outline the edges of my bookmark.  I also outline the back side of the card because it looks nice.  I leave it blank though so it can be used to write a note, poem or special message to the person who receives it.  I also finish it off with a light coat of varnish if it needs it.

5.  Don't forget to punch a hole for your ribbon or tassel.  You can use anything from string to various yarns.  Just bunch up as many as you like and carefully slip it through the hole.  I sometimes even add a few beads to my ribbons for that extra special touch.  

I package my cards with a foam core backing, the envelope and then put them in clear bags to fit the overall size of my "bookmarks".  I sell them at my art shows and add a professional looking label on the back side of my clear bag.  I usually sell out of these so fast that I can hardly keep them in stock for long.  I sell mine for $35.00 each, but a little more for the ones with extras like rare postage stamps etc.  

I hope you enjoy your own "do it yourself art project".  Have fun!  You can email me anytime with questions too.

Click on the comment link if you would like to leave a comment.

Barbara Rudolph

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"M" is for "Mockingbird" in the Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge

"M" is for "Mockingbird" in the "Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge"

 Today's sketchbook page

 Today's mini oil painting of a "Mockingbird"

I used a canvas panel for this one, size 12x9" painted in oil.  This challenge started with a few artists that decided to paint or sculpt on miniature piece per day working our way through the Alphabet.  Today was the letter "M", so I decided to do a "Mockingbird."

I missed a few days of posting, so here are a few of the other daily miniatures:

"L" is for "Lovebird"

These peach faced "lovebirds" visited my back yard not long ago.  I decided to do a quick oil sketch yesterday for the "L" challenge.

"K" is for "Kinglet"

5x7"oil on canvas

 "J" is for "Junco"
3"x3" oil on canvas

"I" is for "Indigo Bunting"
4x4" oil on canvas panel

I just picked up some little custom frames I had made for a few of these.  They will be for sale through my website or at my next show.

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"H" Is for "House Finch" in the "Alphabet Mini's Challenge"

"House Finch on Teapot"

Yesterday's challenge was the letter "H" in the "Alphabet Mini's Challenge."  I photographed this little "finch" in my backyard and then painted it on one of my mini "tea pots".  This challenge has been fun, but also a bit more work than I anticipated.  A group of artists are each painting or sculpting one per day this month, working our way through the alphabet.  Since I focus on "birds in my art" I am choosing a different "bird" each day.  I decided it would be a great challenge to help me paint a little bit faster as well as to get some mini oil paintings ready for my next show.

The "House Finch on the Tea Pot" will receive a new title once I come up with a good one.  It is painted on gallery wrapped canvas and measures 10x6x1.5"

Since I didn't get around to posting my "G" painting the previous day, here it is:

"G" is for "Goldfinch"
4x4" Oil on canvas panel

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"F" is for "Finch" - The Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge

"What's That?"

This is my miniature oil painting for the "Alphabet Mini's Challenge"
"F" is for "Finch"

This little oil painting is 4 x 4" on a canvas panel.  The little "finch" was sitting on a tree branch outside my kitchen window.  I liked his curious position, so I snapped a quick photo and decided to paint him for the "Alphabet Mini's Challenge."

Barbara Rudolph

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Bluebird of Happiness" - "Alphabet Mini's Challenge Continued

Eastern Bluebird

This is for the letter "E" in the Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge

Here is a detail of my "bluebird" oil painting

This oil painting is for the "Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge."  This is painted on canvas and is actually size 14x14".  I am not quite sure I am finished yet.  I am thinking of adding some script to the background, but I need to let the top layer of oil paint dry first. 

This one was painted yesterday - for the letter "D" for "Duck"
in the "Alphabet Mini's Challenge"

This is the line up so far of the mini's
but there is still a long way to go.

Barbara Rudolph

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"C" is for "Chipping Sparrow" The Alphabet Mini Challenge

"Chipping Sparrow"

I chose to paint a "Chipping Sparrow" for the letter "C" in the "Alphabet Mini's Painting Challenge".  "Chipping Sparrows" have always been one of my favorite "songbirds" to paint with their nearly white and fluffy feathers and a chestnut crown.  This little oil painting is painted on a 4x4" canvas panel.  I have a group of custom frames being made up for some of these new small paintings.  I will post some of the framed ones as soon as I get them ready, and then the little oil paintings will be for sale. 

Several other artists are participating in this painting challenge throughout the month of June.  Check back in to see more of them throughout the month.    

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"B" is for "Blue Jay" - "The Alphabet Mini's challenge"

"Blue Jay"

Today for my "Alphabet Mini's" challenge I painted a "Blue Jay" for my letter"B".  He looks a bit scruffy, but I don't have quite enough time today to refine him.  It is a 4"x4"oil painting on a canvas panel. Here is a photo of it on my easel:

Also see a few images from another artist that started this challenge.  Her name is "Jennifer O'Cualain" and she is an incredible wildlife artist.  Here are a few of her "Alphabet Mini's" for today's Letter "B":  They are actually very tiny oil paintings 3.25 x 2.5.  Below is a link to her website.

 "B" is for "Burro"

"B" is for "Bison"

Aren't they wonderful

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, June 1, 2012

"A" is for "Anna's Hummingbird" The Alphabet Mini's Challenge

Anna's Hummingbird

Here is my first daily painting for the "Alphabet Mini's" challenge.  It is a 4x4" oil on canvas panel.  Once I figure out how to link to the other participating artists work, I will post some here.  You can even join in if you want.  Just paint or sculpt one small piece a day starting today, (June 1st).  Each day work your way through the alphabet creating something that begins with the letter of the day.  Today, being June 1st, I chose the "Anna's Hummingbird" for the letter "A".  

Barbara Rudolph