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Topic: paper mockingbird  (Read 6307 times)
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« on: June 12, 2006 09:07:45 AM »

I made this little guy mostly out of paper, masking tape, wire, and papermache.  The base is a block of wood with a buch of sticks glued on, a stick that I filed down to fit inside a hole in the block.  His feet are hot glued to the stick so he doesn't slip and flip over, but the glue is easy to remove and his feet and legs are plain bendable wire so I can move him around if I ever decide to.  Its fun to see him perched next to my computer Smiley.

and heres a pic of him getting his first wing taped and mached on.

Here's the process I used for making him:

1.  Planning: Figured out proportions and whatnot from googled photos, and I decided on the measurements of the wire armature.
2.  Armature: Used two pieces of copper wire for each foot, one in a V shape and the other straight which were set on top of each other to create a ->- shape for his foot, then soddered where they cross to the piece of wire for the legs.  His "spine" goes from his beak to his tail, so the paper feathers wouldn't droop, and the V of the legs was taped to the spine with masking tape.  I don't know about soddering the toes in the future, because when his was finished one of them fell off and it was ridiculously frustrating to get it soddered again, and even after that he's got a glob of sodder and extra wire on his foot.
3.  Body building: I built up his body with crumpled and ripped up printer paper and my school's brown paper towels and held it together with alot of masking tape.  After some cutting back into his body to make adjustments and final building up I covered him with a layer or two of masking tape to finalize and smooth the form.  I also cut two small holes into his head for his eyes, where I put these two small yellow beads after I had put elmers glue in then made his pupils in sharpie.
4.  Paper Mache: Next I paper mached with school paper towels, then paper mached over that around his belly and other lighter parts with white tissue paper, building up a couple layers where necesarry to get the white to cover the brown.  I left his beak unpapered and colored it with a black sharpie so it would stay smooth and moderately shiney.
5.  Painting: After I was happy with the paper mache I painted him white tempra mixed with black crayola watercolors.  (The black tempra when watered down on the tissue paper turned a yucky irregular minty green color, and the prang water colors I first tried turned pink.  Painting with watered down paint was really tricky on that tissue paper...).
6.  Feather cutting : I cut out the feathers from printer paper. Long tapered ones with rounded ends for the tail, and three different types for the wings:  1st layer long skiny tappered with a kind of rounded point, 2nd layer fairly straight medium in length with rounded ends, and the 3rd layer smaller shorter versions of the 2nd layer.  I tried to cut them so they were generally somewhat different from each other.
7.  Feather painting: I painted the feathers with the same type of paint as the body, once again trying to add slight variation within them so they all don't end up looking the same.
8.  Building and attaching the tail: Arranged the tail feathers in two groups, one for the ones that would show on top and the second for the bottom layer.  I taped them together at their ends and then taped them to the bird, with the top layer above the wire spine and the bottom layer bellow.  The feathers didn't automatically go together, so I watered down elmers glue and brushed it between the feathers and pushed them against each other to dry so they would go together better.  Then I papermached over where the tail was attached to the body, then painted over that to blend it in.
9.  Building the wings: I put together the wings layer by layer.  I'd arrange the first layer the way I wanted it, then tape it at the ends then arrange the next layer over the one below it, taping it, then doing the third layer in the same manner.  I used the watered down glue here again to get the feathers to stick together.
10.  Attaching the wings: Taped the wings to the bird, pape mached over them, and followed that up with another coat of paint where needed.

I plan to make more birds for a 3d portfolio for school, but wouldn't want to keep all of them, because that would get things cluttured :/.  I was thinking I might sell them.  Does anybody have any ideas as to where?

Well that was alot. Enjoy!
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006 09:08:45 AM »

Beautiful!  So realistic-- you did a wonderful job!

« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006 09:10:25 AM »

 Shocked Shocked Shocked  Wow, that is so realistic!  You did and amazing job!

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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006 09:32:40 AM »

That's really fantastic work.  It's so realistic.   Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006 09:58:17 AM »

Wow that is really awesome!! It looks so real  Smiley


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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006 10:03:40 AM »

he's so cute!

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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006 10:20:29 AM »

That is beautiful! It reminds me of Hansel and Gretl, when the little bird leads them to the house made of candy.
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006 03:00:28 PM »

omg what a great paint job. It looks SO realistic!
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006 05:30:13 PM »

I agree, he does look incredibly realistic. And very beautiful. Nice work  Kiss

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006 05:50:02 PM »

Cute! and very realistic
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