Making of Crazy Bird

A look at the making of Crazy Bird

brightly colored birds on a wire painting with one hanging upside down
SHOW OFF! Brightly colored bird silhouettes sitting on a wire with one little guy hanging upside down. The original has sparkles on the upside down bird. 12 x 9 on 300# Acid Free Paper. Original Watercolor with mat that fits 11×17 frame



Revisiting a past theme

Crazy Bird is not new. I first painted birds on a wire with one upside down bird in watercolor a few years back. It was an experiment, that turned out to be a success, many experiments aren’t… But that’s why we come to the canvas, or paper every day to refine, tweak, and hopefully build on our successes and learn from our experiences. The painting above is still one of my best sellers for prints on mugs and such. I love how organically the ground pigments of the watercolors flowed to form such interesting color combinations!

Frisket in place and colors dripped on top

 Cutting a frisket

First thing to do is to cut the frisket or masking paper. In this case, I used shelf liner because the image is 30″ in length. Plus, shelf liner is much cheaper and does the same thing. After cutting out the negative space (the birds), it’s time to mix the colors. Making a mixture of 2 parts Golden fluid acrylics with 1 part GAC  200, I poured the mixture into little bottles with a fine tip. The GAC 200 makes the paint harder and less elastic-like. That way when you peel off the frisket you won’t peel up the paint!


Removing the frisket “template”


Be flexible!

But after removing the template, I just wasn’t happy with the way it was looking. The shapes weren’t defined enough and the color palette competed too much overall. So I decided to make this more of a pointillism piece and to switch up the color palette while I was at it. The piece is painted on a float frame which has beveled stretcher bars and stands out from the wall about 1.5″. This is going to look great on a darker painted wall, that way it will really pop!!!! Can’t you just see it?

crazy bird
Bottles of acrylic paint mixed with Golden’s GAC 200



The float frame is such a cool effect!


crazy birds upside down bird painting
Crazy Bird 10″ x 30″ Acrylic on stretched canvas on a float frame.



Close-up details of CRAZY BIRD



I’m thinking about trying this with some mica powders next time just to see what effect it will have. Am wondering how many little droplets of paint are in this thing? It was quite a painstaking process, especially since the drops are so small, my hand cramped for days afterward.

Curious? You can find this painting here

What’s next?

I’ve a few more ideas that are percolating on the back burner, plus I’ve finished a brand new 36″ x 36″piece with one of my students that I’ll be posting soon. Never did I EVER feel I would enjoy teaching so much, more on that later…

Lots of love, lots of laughs too 🤣😂😉

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Rosie Scribblah

    This is lovely. Thanks for sharing your process

    1. Deb

      Hi Rosie, thanks for stopping by! Cheers

  2. graham mcquade

    By the way Deb, your blog is now much easier to find on wordpress than it was – a side-product of your upgrade, perhaps.

    1. Deb

      OMG, that’s great news – thank you Graham!!!

    1. Deb


    1. Deb

      Thanks so much Inese! I forget to take photos of works in progress much of the time – it tends to interrupt my “flow”. Thankfully I took some.

  3. Phil

    Delightful work & description, Deb

    1. Deb

      Hi Phil, appreciate the nice comment

      1. Phil

        My pleasure, Deb

  4. thefolia

    Happy hanging with feathered friends! What a cheery piece…happy creating.

    1. Deb

      Well hello there, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Cheers, have a great day!

Comments are closed.