Sunday, March 2, 2014

Toucan Portraits

I completed a month long residency on Thursday.  I had a great time working with 18 classes on a wide range of projects.

Here is one that we did, rain forest Toucans.

Here are some of the student's work.


- substrate, we are using 1/8"  hardboard, also called MDF.  It is the stuff I use for art boards.  Ours is cut to a 12"x12" square and works out to be 31 cents each, so it's a bargain.  Home Depot will cut the large sheets for you with their fancy cutting machine.
- cardboard, heavy corrugated or thin
- template
- drywall filler
- wax paper
- brown, green, black, yellow, red, orange, blue acrylic paint
- black paper
- recycled paper
- pipe cleaner
- black pony bead or goggly eye
- tacky glue
- Mod Podge
- black yarn


Paint board green.  This is just the background.  You could vary the colours a bit if you want.

Set aside to dry.

Cut the Toucan pieces out of cardboard.  Here is my template.

You also need to cut a branch for your bird to sit on.

Cover one side of the cardboard with drywall filler.  Make sure the beak and bird will match.  Despite our best efforts we still had birds that did not match the beaks. (wrong side)
Leave overnight to dry.

When the drywall is dry start painting your pieces.

Paint the branch brown with a touch of black for the shaded parts.

Paint the body of your bird black.  At school the kids painted the entire body black. That was the end of that session.  Next session they added colour on top, acrylics are quite opaque so it worked well.

Paint face and breast.

Paint a brightly coloured beak.

I gave the kids about 1/3rd of a white pipe cleaner.  They then painted it the colour they wanted the feet to be.  You could just use multi-coloured ones.

Let all pieces dry.

To make leaves I handed out some thin corrugated paper I had.  It was the packing material from a box of dishes that I had saved.

You could also use a crimper or just paint some recycled paper with different shades of green and yellow.

Let dry.

When all pieces are dry start the assembling.

Cut some nice leaf shapes out of green paper. Glue into place.  Glue branch into place.  At this time figure out where bird is going to sit.  Using black paper add the tail onto the board.  You could also use black paint.

Glue bird into place, beak, and feet.

Add eye.

You can add some yarn for the line between the beaks.

Finally add a coat of Mod Podge to seal everything into place and add a nice shiny coat.

Great work, everyone.

See you next time.


1 comment:

  1. love these - they look great! I might have to try this sometime with my art class.