Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Owl

I've been wanting to change up the painting in my niche above my fireplace, but didn't have a permanent solution? 
This is what I came up with.

Here's what it looked like for summer.  Summer is over, it's time for a change.

This solution can easily be changed out for all the seasons.
I tried a mirror, but the niche is very large and the space required a really big mirror to cover the niche painting.  I tried a mirror from another room over the mantle and it over whelmed the space.  Instead I decided to hang a piece of drop cloth canvas above the mantel and paint an owl on it for fall. I used left over finials and curtain rods I already had and hung an inexpensive drop cloth from the rod.  This enabled me to create a custom size canvas.
 I couldn't just go out and buy a pre made canvas to put over the mantle because the niche was so big.  This was a cost effective solution.  I bought the drop cloth at Big Lots for $10.

First I washed and ironed the drop cloth.  Next I cut it to the right size and sewed a pocket for the top and bottom rod.  I put a rod in the bottom to to give the canvas some weight.  I taped off a border to create a painted frame.

I hung it up to see if I liked it?  The curtain rod matches the rest of the ones I used in the room.

These are drop cloth drapes.

At this point I still wasn't sure this was the look I was going for, but I had to follow it through to be sure?

I painted a black border to frame the art work I intended to paint and lived with it for awhile like this.  I didn't have time to complete it.  Coaching two volleyball teams has put a dent in my crafting and blogging time.

In the mean time I started collecting images of owls I liked. 
I like this Barn Owl but decided to paint a Great Horned Owl instead. 
Isn't his heart shaped face so cute?

This Anthropologie owl painting sells for $2000. 
Out of my budget.

I went to the library and checked out some books. 
This one became my main subject. 
I love his hooded golden eyes.

I started by sketching the owl with pencil on the canvas.  If drawing isn't your thing,  you could make an overhead copy and use a projector to trace the image onto the canvas.

Next I started painting in the color.  I used basic acrylic paint.
 I added some fall foliage to mine and a branch to perch on.

I added black with paint and a ball point pen to get the extra fine detail of the feathers.

Here's my owl hung up over the mantle.  Total cost $10.  When I get tired of the owl or want to change it out for the next season, all I have to do is fold it up and paint something new.  I still have left over drop cloth, so the next one will be free.

Now I'm ready to decorate the mantle.  That will have to wait till another day. 
More volleyball coaching and soccer mom duties await my day.

I can't help it, I have jumped in with both feet into the owl trend,  but I like him ...at least until the Christmas season rolls around. 
What will I paint for Christmas?

How do you change out your mantle for fall?
Are you jumping into a trend at the moment?
Thanks for checking it out.

To see how the mantle is decorated for Fall go here.
I'm Linking this up to Censational girl Fall Craft Party.

More projects you might like.


  1. Oh my goodness! I love it, you're good. I didn't realize how beautiful owls are, love your inspiration pictures. I guess I've only ever seen fake ones.

  2. You are amazingly talented... I thought for sure you paid an arm and a leg for it! You are GOOD!!

  3. That totally rocks, Shannon! I can't believe you painted that yourself! You did such a good job!

  4. You never cease to amaze me with your artistic talents! The owl is beautiful, and very fall (a nice change from all the pumpkins).

  5. oh my goodness Shannon! That is beautiful! I love it!

  6. Well aren't you fancy?! Impressive! I love that you tapped into your own creativity and came up with a very artistic way to give your space a new and original look.

  7. Holy cow! I loved it when I first saw it and this I realized you painted it! You have amazing talent!!! Gorgeous!!!

  8. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?! I thought you bought this!! You're amazing- I can't believe how beautiful and realistic your owl is. Gorgeous, Shannon!!

  9. Stunning!!! I was all liking it up there as a change from the flower niche....then all of a sudden I'm seeing books and paint...and....painting?????? Whoa!!!! I fully believe crafters are artists, but you are an Artist!!! That is a beautiful owl painting and a really creative way to make a change!!! ....wow!!!!


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