So... somehow I got shanghai'd into participating in C's family Christmas, including a Secret Santa swap. I drew his grandmother's name and she is OBSESSED with cardinals. Seriously. Her house looks like a cardinal museum. I saw a mixed media project on Pinterest involving newsprint and a cardstock cut-out sparrow on a sparse branch about two months ago and it inspired me to make this 24 x 30 in. mixed media cardinal project for her. I sketched the cardinal out in my sketchbook with a black fine-point Sharpie to get the shape out on paper.
For the background I cut out the print sections from some (extremely) old medical journals I've been bizarrely saving since college & glued them to the canvas with Elmer's Glue-All. I used the stroke book. (Not sure if anyone's ever had a stroke in C's family, but if so, I hope they don't pay too much attention to the words behind the bird. I'm just saying.)
After waiting an appropriate time for the glue to dry, (read: it was still gummy and cold and I could feel it moving around under the paper), I free-handed the cardinal & a branch onto the canvas with the Sharpie & filled it in with black acrylic paint. Voila! Cardinal "painting" for grandma.
By the by... apparently in C's family, Secret Santa means you give one another gift cards, beef jerky, & pretzel rods, so needless to say, everyone was in awe of my gift. Glad to know I don't have to put in any effort next year.