Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A Distressed Kingfisher

Hello all! Well, it's the first of July already - here in the UK, we've had the summer solstice so we've passed the longest day of the year, but hopefully there will be some glorious warm and sunny weather to keep us going as the days gradually get shorter. 
The most recent challenge over at Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities Vol 3 asks us to turn to page 39 of Tim's latest book of loveliness and give the technique described there a try.
Well, I don't have any appropriate stamps by Tim that would suit this technique, but I have just acquired the latest Bird Stamps from Sheena Douglass and was dying to ink up the kingfisher image.  I love kingfishers, their colours are so magnificent and regal - so different to many of Britain's birds.  Don't get me wrong, we have some glorious birds, but not many that are so obviously, well, gaudy!  The kingfisher sits on a branch overlooking a stream like a dandy at a fancy dress party!!!!  Not that I've seen a lot of them mind you (kingfishers, not dandies!).  You'd think that such a colourful bird would be an easy spot - not a bit of it!  The most I've seen of a kingfisher is a flash of blue and orange as it's flown away into the riverside trees! 
Back to the challenge. I stamped the kingfisher from the "King for a Day" stamp set using Black Archival and used the Page 39 technique to colour him in (colours used were Broken China, Spiced Marmalade and Pumice Stone).  I was delighted with the result - I was worried that the technique would result in a washed-out image, but the colours came through really strongly.  

The background was made using the same technique, but on a much larger scale.  Broken China and Mowed Lawn were painted on to a flat 5x7 inch canvas which had been primed with white gesso. 

Once the whole surface was covered, I dripped some more wet Mowed Lawn down the canvas to create the impression of a weeping willow alongside the stream.  I then went around the edges with some Frayed Burlap Distress Ink to frame the image.

I stencilled through Tim's Rays Layering Stencil with Scattered Straw Distress Ink and then used some texture paste mixed with Scattered Straw through some sequin waste to create the "centre" of the sun.  I stencilled through a twiggy mask with Walnut Stain and randomly stamped some swirls over the canvas with black archival ink which I had "blotted" first on some scrap paper. I also added a couple of bits of tissue tape to the edges of the canvas. Unfortunately for the purposes of blogging, I was so enjoying what I was doing that I clean forgot to take photos along the way!!  (You can just about see the stencilling in the background of the finished piece at the bottom of this post.)

I used a die-cut branch across the panel, but it seemed a bit flat, so I added some UTEE "dribbles" over the top.  These resulted from cleaning out my Melt-Pot after my last session of playing - rather than waste the residue left in the pan, I dribbled it over my non-stick sheet to create some gorgeous shiny scribbles, which I knew would come in handy one day!!!  I snipped some bits off and stuck them over the flat branch - that's better!
I cut out the coloured kingfisher, and gave him a special crown from the same stamp-set before mounting him on his perch with 3-D foam.
I stamped the sentiment onto a left-over painted background and used one of Tim's pins to adhere it to the canvas. I added a little fish charm to the kingfisher's bill as if he'd caught it from the stream (some imagination required here as the charm is a sea fish and the kingfisher is a freshwater bird!)
I added some embellishments made from polymer clay that I found lurking in my "bits box" to the bottom right corner.
Finally, when I was searching though my melt-pot remnants, I found a pendant made from silver and black UTEE and poured over a texture tread, which filled the gap at the top of the canvas.
And voila!  My entry for the CC3 Challenge 5 - I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Thanks for visiting.
Keep Crafting!



  1. Hello Cardgenie. Your piece is so pretty! Your coloring of your kingfisher is so lovely. I love your color combination! Very nice job of sharing, too. Your background is nicely done and your added UTEE splattered "branches" and the added polymer clay remnants make for interesting embellishments. Thanks for sharing your art with us at CC3C. <3 Candy

  2. Wonderful piece! I LOVE your birdie, and he is colored perfectly! The background is great, as are the branches and clay shells! So so so artful and fun! Thanks so much for playing in our watercolory challenge at CC3Challenge!!!

  3. That Kingfisher is awesome! Perfectly watercolored. Thanks for sharing the techniques to your wonderful background too. What a great piece! Thanks for playing along with us in the CC3 Challenge.

  4. I love your bird! It's so nice to be king for day which is what you are with this adorable project! Great job!

  5. This is gorgeous, love the kingfisher and his beautiful branch and background! Greetings from Kaiserswerth! Valerie

  6. This is beautiful, wonderful watercolouring and such a great background. Jenny x


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment. I promise to read all of them!