Monday, November 20, 2006

Textured Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving !

I had this great idea to make watercolor turkeys for a Thanksgiving craft, but then I remembered that turkeys are...well...brown. Brown, brown, brown. Pretty much brown all over, and so I decided to stick to my idea, but focus on watercolor texture techniques to add interest. I started by drawing this turkey (on heavy-duty watercolor paper with a permanent marker) from a photograph and reproducing it.

We painted feathers from the local craft store and used them like stamps to create life-like feather prints for the turkey's tail fan.

The idea here was to let some feathers dry in the wet paint and remove them later to make a fossil-like texture of feather imprints across the far back. It worked great in my dry run before the project, but for some reason the feathers didn't take well enough when I did the project with the boys. No problem, we just left the feathers on (added some glue at the end).

Here is Alex painting that neat stripped pattern on the turkey's wing-tips. We were inspired by the original photograph.

There's that turkey now.

Here, Simeon demonstrates how we used a napkin to dab texture across the turkey's front. Jacob learned that this technique is also useful for removing excessive amounts of paint should you accidentally paint over your whole turkey head. You can see that turkey smiling below.

The turkey head and neck images here show the texture that can be created by sprinkling coarse salt on the wet paint(L) and removing it later when the paint is dry(R).
Beautiful turkey complexion!

Simeon's completed turkey.

Alex's turkey. I post two pictures of his because I love his turkey. I especially liked his use of color in the head and neck. He refused the salt technique and was completely unorthodox in his color choices at the end. And that made all the difference!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Alice said...

You are all artists, and I love, love, love this result! Great, meaningful project!

Jennifer said...

Gorgeous! What a great idea.

Theresa said...

Superboy says:
"I really like your turkeys!"

Anonymous said...

Wonderful project, Suzanne! Happy Thanksgiving!

Gabrielle said...

"should you accidently paint over your whole turkey head." LOL. Happy Thanksgiving, Suzanne!

Anonymous said...

I love it, too. Happy Thanksgiving to the Temple Family!

Anonymous said...

What a great project! You are all such artists.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

PS. A quick question: how did you manage to reproduce your awesome drawing on heavy-duty watercolor paper?

Suzanne Temple said...

MinM, Good question. I did it on a make-shift light table. I placed a transparent piece of hard plastic on my lap, sat on the edge of a chair and placed a small lamp on the floor beneath me. I had a plan for transfer using tracing paper if this didn't work, but I was glad when it did! It took me a little over an hour and a half on Sunday afternoon to draw and reproduce those turkeys.

Anonymous said...

They're fantastic!

(Have a glass of merlot to celebrate!)

Melissa said...

How wonderful! You are all very talented.

~m2~ said...

thank you for leaving such a nice comment on my blog -- i am happy to have found you :) these are wonderful!

happy thanksgiving :)

Suzanne Temple said...

Karen, merlot and turkey...hmmmm...sounds good.

Thank you, melissa, and thanks for visiting m2!

Jamie said...

Wow, you are so talented! Beautiful! We water-painted turkeys this week too, but done on copies of blank turkeys, not as big and not hand drawn!! Love the techniques!

Happy Thanksgiving!! God Bless you all!

Suzanne Temple said...

Thanks, jamie! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Ann Horan said...

We could use your talent around here!
I am so out of ideas when it comes to arts and crafts. This week we did the old hands and feet turkey. My four year old loved it and is now obsessed with tracing his fingers as the others were at his age. Big brother and big sister, however, found this craft a bit childish and I am sure they would have preferred to do your textured (and very realistic I might add) turkey. Maybe next year?!?

Karen said...

It's as if the turkey is saying
"Gobble, gobble, JUST not me!"

Suzanne Temple said...

Ann, YES, four seems just about right. Our four year old did this with us and had a great time, but really missed the boat (He didn't notice, though) I should have sent him to your place for the hand-turkey craft and I could have taken your older ones to do these!

Karen, that's good.