Charley and potato birds

Charley Harper was an illustrator and a graphic designer. He grew up on a farm and though he didn’t like working there, he loved walking through the woods and looking for birds and other animals he could draw. And he drew, sketched and painted a lot of them and in quite a different way than anybody before him.

harper2

His style is called minimal realism. It is what happens when you simplify the birds (or other objects) as much as you can BUT people are still able to recognize what kind of a bird it is. Harper always said that he did not ‘count the feathers, only the wings.’ And you can clearly see it here:

harper3 harper4 harper5

And how did Charley draw his birds? What technique did he use? A serigraph (or screen printing or silkscreen). What is it?

harper6

The result of this technique is a print made using a stencil, woven mesh and paint. It works like this: you use a mesh and a stencil to create your print. You keep adding layers, one stencil and one color at a time until you are done.

The project inspired by Charley is simple: we are printing birds and simplifying them even more. We use potato and carrot stamps to create the birds and a toilet-paper roll to make the tree. Just cut the potatoes in halves, quarters and eighths, use a brush to apply paint to them and stamp them to create your unique birds.

Here is an example of the project. As always, you can find more details, variations and ideas in February’s issue of arTree.

harper1

If you want to teach this lesson, you can download the power point presentation here: http://1drv.ms/1ghHGsz

Advertisements

Paper Birds of Diana

February issue of arTree magazine is out! Do you want to learn all there is to learn about birds, including Diana’s amazing paper sculptures?

9951408065_cdbde26921_k 6924311775_d1d1fb8c95_o 6815884006_813eae9e36_k

7600499578_79304dcfdd_k 8705493251_1539b13623_k 8749570262_d7af7dd755_k

Why birds?

One day Diana was walking on the beach and for the first time in her life she saw a swan. It was fighting with a couple of ducks and its flight and expression was amazing. She was fascinated. As soon as she came home she picked up some paper and tried to capture it while it was fresh I her head. After that she just couldn’t stop.

Learn more about her amazing work and the inspiration behind it! Subscribe today: http://artreekids.com/

9377082224_a13777f5ba_o

See more of Diana’s work at her website!