AU­TUMN COL­LAGE

Country Living (UK) - - Craft -

Try this sim­ple pa­per-cut­ting idea to make your own unique na­ture-in­spired art­work.

YOU WILL NEED

news­pa­per pen­cil 1 sheet of grey/warm grey 50cm x 70cm In­gres pa­per 8 sheets of A4 cartridge pa­per ex­tra sheets of scrap pa­per scis­sors scalpel/craft knife and cut­ting mat Sys­tem 3 acrylic paint in lemon yel­low, cobalt blue, crim­son and white acrylic re­tarder gel, avail­able from Hob­by­craft (hob­by­craft.co.uk) small paint­brush flat medium wide-area hog-hair brush, avail­able from Royal & Lang­nickel (ar­tuk.roy­al­brush­store.com) ke­bab stick PVA glue or glue stick old plate (for mix­ing paint)

Cover a flat work­sur­face with sev­eral lay­ers of news­pa­per. Draw and cut out a bird shape (a thrush works well) from cartridge pa­per. Mix red, yel­low and a small amount of blue acrylic paint to cre­ate a red brown, and add a blob of gel re­tarder (scoop a bit onto the end of the small paint­brush). The gel re­tarder will al­low you to work with the paint for longer with­out it dry­ing too quickly. Load a wide-area brush with colour and prac­tise brush­strokes on a piece of scrap pa­per. Make one half of the brush­stroke lighter by adding more pres­sure to one half of the paint­brush. When you are happy with the strokes, po­si­tion the brush so that it is on half of the bird’s body and paint one side of the bird in this way – with the lighter brush­stroke to­wards the cen­tre of the bird. Us­ing light brush­strokes, ap­ply paint colour to the bird’s feet. Add more blue to the mixed paint so it be­comes a dark brown/blue black. Us­ing the small brush, prac­tise mak­ing di­ag­o­nal bro­ken strokes. When you feel you have per­fected this tech­nique, paint the thrush’s breast in this way. Paint a dot for the bird’s eye and fill in the beak. To make the painted pa­pers for cut­ting out the leaves and acorn shapes, cre­ate a se­lec­tion of au­tumn colours by mix­ing vary­ing pro­por­tions of yel­low and blue to make dif­fer­ent shades of green; red and yel­low to give or­anges and bright reds; red and blue for dark reds and pur­ples; red, yel­low and a lit­tle blue and a lit­tle white to cre­ate var­i­ous shades of brown. Add a small blob of gel re­tarder to each of the mixed paint colours. Paint hor­i­zon­tally or ver­ti­cally – and loosely – in a cho­sen colour onto a sheet of cartridge with the wide-area brush so that the brush­strokes show (you can in­tro­duce other colours so that the paint is grad­u­ated). While the paint is wet, draw fluid oak-leaf de­signs into the paint with the end of the ke­bab stick or paint­brush. For the acorn tex­ture, make cross-hatch marks on a light-brown painted piece of cartridge pa­per. Al­low the pa­pers to dry. Once dry, cut out the leaves and acorn shapes. Cut small semi-cir­cles (cups) from the cross-hatched piece of pa­per and stick in place on top of the acorns. Ar­range all the dif­fer­ent com­po­nents in place on the In­gres pa­per and, when you are happy with the de­sign, se­cure in place with glue. Fi­nally, find a ton­ing wooden frame.

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