Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Peacock for Avery

Today is Avery's birthday!

In June my granddaughter and I spent an afternoon at the Calgary Zoo. I was excited to be showing her the large animals, especially the big cats.  She enjoyed them well enough but what captivated her most was a peacock.  We happened upon one of these free roaming birds, prancing on the spot with his tail feathers fully outstretched, and Avery was awe-struck.  Closing in on him, I'm sure with the intention to touch, he squawked.  She froze but didn't turn away ... she couldn't, she was completely mesmerized.  I eventually coaxed her on but for the rest of our visit she kept asking for the peacock.  As we left, one was calling out to us arrogantly posed on a roof looking just like this ...

Peacock    acrylic/mixed media on canvas   24" x 12"   NFS

What a wonderful learning experience/experiment the entire project was!  I used Golden Gel Medium Molding Paste for the heavily textured background.  The yellow colour, which I thought would be an appropriate contrast, didn't please me at all ...

At the end of day one 

The following day I scrubbed watered down turquoise and purple over it and, to my delight, the pretty Interference Gold still shone through. Recently added to my obscene collection of rubber stamps is a large (4.5" x 6") overall pattern of peacock feathers.  I was bummed out when it wouldn't transfer onto the textured surface of the canvas until I thought to fill in the "dimples" with molding paste - using a palette knife - over that area to make it smooth enough to receive the stamp.

End of day two ... I needed more feathers!

I painted feathers, loving a reason to use Iridescent Copper.  Then, I was horrified while sticking down the first real peacock feather, to find that matte medium I used had sucked the iridescent life out of the glowing, shimmery colours.  And when I tried to pry it off the paint was coming with it!  It had to stay; so, using gloss medium this time, I buried it under more feathers.

Finished painting detail

For extra, good fun and to top it all off I sprinkled an opaque, micro fine glitter (Western Blue by Jewel Glitter Ritz) onto wet medium on his neck.

Can such a young child enjoy yet another painting from her grandmother?



  1. I really love the texture in the background. It's lovely how the black fades towards the bottom of the picture. I also love the bright colors of the bird and the multi-color background. Beautiful and wonderful artwork.

  2. Thank you very much, Shelley!