Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mixed Media Owl

Well I can't spend 2 weeks here at the cabin without making an owl can I!

........ok maybe I'm just a little Owl crazy but when you hear them hooting all night it gets to you.....

I decided to finish the samples I made while at the Fernie workshop. 

I found some great natural items to add to this portrait proving that you don't need to visit the store for supplies just use what's around you.


- a substrate, which is a fancy word for a base, here I used a framed canvas but you could use a piece of cardboard or a wooden board
- acrylic paint
- spackle
- cardboard
- tissue, cheesecloth, burlap, or anything else you have lying around
- tacky glue, glue gun
- found items
- Mod podge

So like I showed in the Fernie post I textured my canvas using spackle and a number of tools to create designs.
Let the canvas (substrate) dry.  Mine was covered with lots of texture as I was showing all the different possibilities.    I then painted it with acrylic paint.

I then let this base coat dry.

I came in with some more paint and did a dry brush application to pull out the details of the texture.  Basically with a dry brush you want to come in with light paint if the base color is dark or dark paint if the base is light.  Apply lightly with a dry bristle brush,  I keep my old beat up brushes to use for this.

Put aside to dry.
I had a piece of corrugated cardboard from which I cut out the basic shape of my owl.  I applied some gesso or you can use glue and stuck on some tissue and cheesecloth to give it texture.  Again this was my leftover sample so I had a little bit of everything going on.  When dry paint with acrylics.

I found a nice big pine cone on one of my walks so I took some of the scales off starting from the bottom.  I also made sure to pick off the little barb on each scale so they were easier to work with.

They looked feather shaped to me.

I then painted them with acrylics to look like owl feathers.

I had my husband cut some rounds off a large fallen branch to use for eyes.   I sanded them smooth.

I also lucked out and found this neat beak shaped rock.

I then painted them.....didn't want my eyes perfectly them a little kooky.

Using tacky glue I glued all the pieces in place.


I painted a branch on the background for my owl to perch on.

I then glued the owl onto the background with a glue gun.

I then sealed the whole thing with Mod podge.

Let dry and you have a great mixed media portrait for your wall.

See you next time!


  1. Is Mod Podge like PVA glue?

  2. Waoo..CREATIVE use of pinecones :)

  3. This is so so cute. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Love it! I have a huge pile of pinecones in my front yard and am always trying to figure out ways to use them in some creative way. I can't wait to try something like this.

  5. I'm also owl crazy! I will have to try to make one like yours, I've never made a mixed media frame before. Thanks for sharing how to do it :)

  6. When I grow up, (I'm 57.......)I want to be as creative as you are! Love the owl!

  7. Ovo je fantastično, oduševljena sam!!

  8. How fun is that - and how textured!!

  9. Adorable! Love all the different elements!

  10. Super cute- so retro and cool!

  11. Love this!
    Especially the wood circles for the eyes. So clever.

  12. Hello. I teach Arts Education and I find your blog very interesting. Warmly, Karen

  13. I did these with my teens with developmental disabilities and one sold for $ 110.00. We had a art show and they were so proud of their owls. Very cool project each one turned out different.Thanks for all the great ideas.