What’s the story behind Alan the Magpie?
Last year, I did a bit of experimenting with creating bird images using cut up collages.
My best friend, who is from Newcastle and is a huge Newcastle United FC fan, saw one of them and said “if you do a galaxy magpie I may melt.”
(Newcastle United FC are commonly referred to as ‘The Magpies’ because their classic black and white strips are similar to those of the actual magpie bird.)
So I did one for her as a Christmas present.
How did you create Alan the Magpie?
I created a background by painting a sheet of mixed media paper with a blend of different shades of blue paint.
Then, I created stars by spattering white and pale blue on it using a super cool tool. You dip the brush in a bit of paint, then slowly rotate it so that a little stick flicks the paint off the bristles.
It was VERY messy!!
I added some galaxy patterns using a sponge dipped in some pink, purple and blue paint.
When it was all dry, I traced the outline of the magpie onto it, then cut out pieces corresponding to where a magpie is usually black.
I stuck the pieces onto a fresh sheet of paper, and painted in the eyes and beak and added detail to the feet. I added additional shading with coloured pencils, and went around the outline with charcoal.
Why is he called Alan?
My best friend named him Alan.
He’s named after Alan Shearer, a former Newcastle United player who still holds the record as the Premier League’s top goal scorer.