I have drawn a design for a metal art piece. This project is easy and fun to do. I am going to make a wooden plaque for an embossed and painted mallard. For an added touch I will add a ledge to the plaque. With a ledge you can add some moss or miniature items to go with the duck theme. If you wish to purchase a plaque, the craft shop usually has a section of unpainted wooden items. An eight by nine plaque will fit my sample project.
For a pattern go to your computers clip art and do a search on mallard. Try and find a mallard with some water around it. Copy and enlarge it to cover approximately three fourths of a printer sheet looking at print preview. When satisfied with the pattern, print it. You do not need to be precise. Printing can be done on computer paper, transparency film or go to a copy shop. If you prefer to purchase a pattern, there is a line of patterns printed on transparent plastic. They can be placed on top of the metal and traced. The advantage of the see-through of course is that you can see exactly what you are doing.
To get started I have a supply list:
- Metal Sheet
- DecoArt Paint
- Floating Medium
- Craft Paint Brushes
- Decorative Hooks
- Wooden plaque
- Small Hammer
- Old Pair Scissors
- Safety Glasses
- Embossing Tool
- Silicone Adhesive
I can’t go to a craft store without seeing old barn wood for all types of craft projects. If you like this rustic style and have access to some scrap pieces of wood this would be great. This is what I am using in my sample project. I cut an eight by nine-piece of scrap wood and then added a three-inch ledge to the plaque. I used a hammer and small nails for the ledge. Add decorative hooks to hang. Leaving the wood natural adds to its charm. For a purchased plaque you could stain to match your decor or paint it with a dark gray then go back with a gray and white mixture brushing with the grain of the wood. Use a light touch allowing the dark gray to show through. You want to achieve the look of a weathered piece of wood. The plaque is now complete.
I am using an aluminum sheet for my project. Lay your pattern on top of the metal. Take a ballpoint pen or a burnishing tool and go over the pattern lines. My pattern has some water around the duck so I am including it. After you trace the pattern the metal is ready to cut. Be very careful with sharp edges, so for safety please wear glasses and gloves. Cut the metal with an old pair of scissors. If you see any burrs you can lightly sand the edge.
DecoArt paint seems to be a bit thicker and therefore more inclined to cover with one coat. You also do not have to treat the metal first to use it. Use floating medium to help spread the color. Try and find a mallard picture so you can see what I am describing. Paint the head of the duck a beautiful hunter green, and a white ring around his neck located low on his neck closer to his body. Paint his bill a bright yellow and a dab of black for his nostrils. While you have black paint on your brush paint his eyes black. The breast is a chestnut color, but I want a more vibrant color so I am using wine berry with a small amount of white color. As you paint, be sure to stroke the brush in the direction the feathers would grow.
The back is painted gray and so are the flanks. Mix some black and white. Black is a very strong color so use only a small amount. We can only see part of the wings as they are tucked to his side in the water. I would outline in black the wings and tail feathers. Mix a small amount of brown into some white and have a dirty white and paint in at the start of the wing and getting bit darker about half way to the back of his wing.
In the middle of the wings are dark blue feathers with a white bar along with both leading and trailing edges. The tail feathers are also white. Paint the water around the duck with a navy blue. This is also a very strong color so use a small amount. Try and make the water appear to have moved around the duck. To achieve movement take your brush and make loose half circles from the front toward the back and from the back toward the front. Mix some white into the blue and make a lighter shade of blue and continue to paint the water.
Highlight with white making some waterlines and highlight some of the edges of the dark blue half circles. Let the paint cure for about day then use a brush on sealer such as Americana Gloss Varnish. When the painting is complete, adhere the metal to the wooden plaque with silicone. Add items to compliment your duck. Hang the project and enjoy it. This would make a great gift for a hunter or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.Highlight with white