Art you can make: cut-paper animals

Okay, I know I'm getting a little out of hand with the cut-paper art project (and I have another one or two--maybe three--up my sleeve), but I did a little experiment over the weekend and it turned out well enough to share.

One of the pictures we ordered for Oliver's nursery is smaller than we expected, and Oliver's dad liked the idea of pairing it with another small piece--he was thinking of an owl. Now, with the recent owl trend there are PLENTY of prints out there, some as cheap as ten bucks, so not exactly a budget buster. But something about an owl's feather markings and expression kind of made me think of wood-cut block prints, which kind of made me think of the whole paper cut thing that I recently mastered. I had some green cardstock, an exacto, and a piece of cardboard, so as long as I could find an hour, why not give it a try?

(As an aside, my first major art project as a kid was a papier-mache snowy owl, probably in third grade. I was so proud of that thing--I may have even entered it for a ribbon in the Dakota County Fair--so maybe there's something nostalgic at work here.)

Anyway, I found some pictures of owls on line and printed them out the size I wanted the final product to be. Then I used the same technique that I used for the botanicals in the girls room, tracing the image and then stapling the tracing paper to the cardstock around the outside of the drawing. I used an exacto knife to cut out all the interior detail first, then cut out the shape and spray mounted it to some heavy white watercolor paper. I then cut some pieces from the green carstock to fill in some negative space--the iris in the left eye and some little feather ripples in the belly--with a scissors and spray mounted them on. The hardest part was probably getting the spray mount off my thumbnails.

Anyway, here he is. I keep thinking of him as Oscar the Owl. I should mention that I used a cardstock with a bit of sheen, which is not coming through in this scan. The owl is also a pretty green. The paper is 8x10, to give you a sense of scale.

And here he is in a simple white frame from Target.

It remains to be seen if he will find his way into the finished room--this is a serious little fellow, perhaps TOO serious for the room--but I really kind of like him.

I wonder: what other animals would make good cut-paper portraits?