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

  3. 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.

  4. This is one fantastic owl.
    I love the textures.

  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. Super cute- so retro and cool!

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

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

  12. 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.