The Making of a Rooster Portait

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a project from my heART journal. I have been working more in my journal lately than on canvas, but I often forgot to take pictures of the process.

Recently, I tried a collage rooster in my journal. I’ve never painted a rooster before, and wondered how it would look with collage as the first layer. A picture of my rooster beginnings:

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I ended up loving it so much that I wished I had done it on canvas! This created a dilemma. The rooster’s tail extended beyond the journal page, so when I removed the page you could see the edges of the perforation. Here is a picture, so you can see what I mean:

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I tried to trim it, but it was still very noticeable. I wanted to make the rooster something I could print and sell. But how? I had an idea. What if I cut him out and put him on some kind of canvas? I had never attempted this before, but thought, why not? At worst, I still had my rooster here.

I measured my page and decided an 11×14 canvas would work the best. When I laid my journal page as is on the canvas, I noticed there was a natural frame around it. This gave me another idea. I have some old barn wood-looking scrapbook paper. What if I cut it like a frame to border my rooster? I already loved it, even without paint. I glued the frame using gel medium. I then painted the inside of the frame with a teal acrylic, mixed with a little gesso to vary the shading. I used this same teal on my journal page, so I basically recreated it on the canvas because this is the part I plan to cut away from the journal rooster. Here are some pictures of these steps:

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20150424_215221Next I rubbed Vaseline in places on the frame where I wanted the barn wood to show through. I painted over the frame with white gesso, and let it dry completely. Then I took a shop rag to wipe it away. The Vaseline acts as a resist, exposing those areas of the frame when dry. I painted the sides of the canvas grey and then did this same resist technique with the Vaseline and white gesso. That way the frame looked uniform, like a real one!

Here’s a picture of the peeled paint frame:

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Last I cut out my rooster and glued him onto the canvas. I used a super heavy gel medium for this. I still had to apply pressure in places to make sure he stuck down evenly on all edges. Did I mention I had collage on the other side of the page? I sacrificed a page for the sake of my rooster portrait. Sad, but worth it! This is one of the risks of journaling back to back, so keep that in mind.

Here are some pictures of my final “rooster portrait”:

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I think he is quite charming! The original is hanging on the wall in my kitchen because he makes me happy! I will be putting prints up in my Etsy shop this week, for anyone who wants a rooster of their own.

And that’s my take on a quick and easy way to convert a journal page into a salable product. Easy-peasy, and adorable!

Take heART,

Robyn