This is another great project that relies on repetition of a similar cutting stroke. The organic form of the feather is pleasantly conducive to the cutting process (and it make hiding mistakes really easy!)
- White Strathmore Bristol Board (100 lb / 270 gsm)
- Canson Mi-Teintes 140 Indigo Blue Paper (98lb / 160g)
- On the back of your paper, begin by sketching outlines of various feather shapes. The outline can be sketchy as it will serve as a loose guide for the cuts.
- Begin the cut with the central shaft of the feather. This cut should be kept thin at the top and gently widen at the bottom for the quill.
- The next step is to cut the individual barbs of the feather. Begin near the bottom of the central shaft with short, curved cuts. Keep the cuts close together, and try to follow the contour of the previous barb with each successive cut.
- As the barbs reach the tip of the feather, begin to rotate the points of the barbs around so that they are no longer perpendicular to the central shaft.
- Begin the process of cutting the barbs on the other side of the central shaft, repeating the same process as on the first side.
- Once finished with the main barbs, the feather should look something like this:
- As a finishing touch, some downy barbs can be added. These are simply cut below the main barbs, and should move in a direction that is down and away from the main barbs.
- The barbs of the feather are now complete – the only thing left to do is trim the edges and liberate this feather from the surrounding paper.
- Begin trimming around the barbs of the feather, pulling away from the center shaft with small diagonal strokes.
- After completing the trim, carefully release the feather from the surrounding paper. Tweezers can be used for delicate areas.
- Backing the feather with a contrasting paper will help viewers to notice the subtle detail. Here is both the white feather, and an alternate blue feather.