Bald Eagle – Watercolor Painting Tutorial With Sarah Cray

Bald Eagle - Watercolor Painting Tutorial With Sarah Cray

hi everybody it's Eric Rea with let's make art and we do watercolor we do a different project every single week break it down step by step so you can follow along no matter where you are and today we are painting our what sound does enable me thank you I think it's more of a majestic sounded but it's related to them okay so we are using six colors for this project is that a lot yes sometimes you got to just go crazy with color as you can see on my palette I put too much paint on it and they all mix together but that's okay we're still gonna I'll also tell you what colors so our first colors amethyst our second color is red our third color is def dandelion yellow fourth color is Tahoe blue fifth color is sepia sorry I don't think for a second start kinetic sepia and fifth color is black no six color [Laughter] double five it's fine I'm fine oh and we need salt here we got it it's a magic salt it is sea salt mmm tastier for the eagle it is yes okay we have five steps in this project so our very first step we are going to do the beak our second step we are going to do the white feathers which is essentially putting shadows on the white feathers to show their shape size angles all that fun stuff third step we're gonna do the eyeball right here fourth step we're gonna do our brown feathers this is where the salt comes in and fifth step is details so one through five we're gonna do this okay Eagles are so fierce they are they're very intense like yes okay and they're huge yes how bigger I get except like like over six foot wingspan seriously I'm pretty sure I'll google it but I'm pretty sure they're just massive birds okay so we have an outline for this project you can get it on our website let's make art calm it will be on the Eagle bald eagle project page you can download it for free I forgot this little spot so I'm going to put it in a tree I transferred it using graphite paper which should be in your kits or your subscription if you order from us and that's it alright let's get started so I'm gonna do the beak now I have these two well three actually spots on my beak and this and this this one our highlight and this one is actually for like the nostril but what I'm going to do is I'm going to make orange so I'm gonna take some of my yellow and I'm gonna take some of my red and I'm gonna mix that together okay so here's my really pretty orange and I'm gonna start by putting in the orange on my beak okay mainly right to the right of the big highlight is where I'm gonna put my orange then I'm gonna rinse my brush pick up a little bit of just yellow and spread out that color on the beak still avoiding the highlight the nose hole area I'm using my round six for this okay and just keep moving and spread in make sure you get the left side of the beat because the highlight does not go all the way I found the information about the bird okay a bald eagle tell me all of it wingspan five foot nine inch Wow – seven foot five yeah as an adult that is mad that is just huge that is HUGE bald eagles always remind me of a rescuers down under yes fantastic yes okay so there's my beak now I'm gonna do the highlights and the highlights I'm gonna do just yellow so I'm gonna put in the highlights and then I'm gonna kind of blend around the edges cuz we don't want the highlights to be like super strong like separate circles you know what I mean yes yeah we want them to like integrate a little bit with what's already there so it's okay if you kind of like blend out around it and they go outside the line a little bit that's okay okay and now we're going to do the bottom part of the peak beak I'm gonna use yellow kind of on the right hand side and then as I get closer to the left it's going to turn a little bit more Orange so I'm gonna grab that orange and then the other thing I'm going to do is I am actually going to put in a tiny bit of blue just a tiny tiny tiny tiny mix with blue blue and orange or complimentary colors so when you mix them they turn brown and we want there to be a shadow on the bottom of this beak because the top part of the beak is casting a shadow on it we want to show that one is on top of the other so just a darker Orange if you want to use sepia that's fine too black that's fine too they will all give you lightly different colors that's okay you can test them on a side paper if you want but I just wanted like just a little hint of a darker value on that bottom part of the beak okay that was step one now we're gonna move on to step two we're going to do the white feather part so if you look at animals that have white on them white fur white feathers all of those things our brain likes to tell them that they're stark white which the highlights they are but actually even white animals have color and shadow to them that's how they have form so whenever you're painting white animals whether it's white dogs or cats or bears or whatever you're essentially leaving the white of the paper as the highlights and you are painting only the shadows and that is how you are making it seem dimensional so on our bird the top part of our head here is where there's a lot of light so this is mainly just gonna be left white right here and then the underneath part here are the shadows right by the eye and then right underneath the beak and then we put some little textural shadows in there to show that there are layers of feathers so again when you're painting white animals you want to make sure that you're pretty much just painting the shadows and – it's okay to make those shadows colored they don't have to be gray which just adds kind of like a like a color depth to your painting it gives you a little bit of freedom to play with different colored shadows but usually shadows are cooler colored so that's why if you do like blue or purple or a tiny tiny bit of green shadows that's okay if you want to try doing warmer shadows you can I don't know if I've actually ever played with that so I'm not sure how that will turn out but if you want to do it go for it I'm sure somebody's done it somewhere something wrong with it so what I've done here so if you look at my shadows all my feathers they're mainly like blue and purple those were the colors I chose so what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to do this part around the eye first which is the one of the darkest values on our painting okay so I'm gonna grab actually a little bit of black I'm gonna grab a little bit of my amethyst and I'm gonna grab a little bit of my Tahoe and maybe a little bit more black to just get that really dark color so then I'm just gonna follow my eye the little outline I have here we do color around the eye and before the eye there and I'm going to start to blend that out so this is a really dark value so you want to make sure you have a lot of paint on your brush when you're doing this part okay looking good now I'm gonna rinse my brush and using that color that's there I'm gonna start blending and transitioning this shadow out so you'll see that my directions of my brush because I want the darker value to stay near the top I'm actually while I'm blending I'm actually pushing the color back towards the top if I were to brush downward then all of this value would move down and it would darken so look I'll show you see how that's moving the color dark down where if I brush the other way it's making it stay up near the top which is where I want it to stay try to avoid that yellow beak if you can it will blend out if you touch it and then I love to do little hints of other colors within colors so for example this is a pretty like navy blue it's actually really gorgeous I love this color I'm gonna introduce a tiny tiny tiny bit of purple though just a little hint again you don't have to do that part if you just love that dark blue you can leave that but it's kind of fun to do pops of other color okay and now what I'm going to do is I'm pulling a tiny bit of that dark blue that I'm mixed to the side see how light this value is yes I do I was nodding my head thinking about the colors I'm sorry no that's okay so whenever you want to do a lighter value and you're pulling from a super dark color with a lot of paint you just pull a little bit to the side which is why I love these butcher tray palettes because it's so easy to just pull a little bit off and play with that I don't have to like push it over evil the more I play with painting mm-hmm I seem to struggle with like even on your palette how your colors are so dark mm-hmm I seem to struggle with I only get a lighter value so and I've actually heard that a couple of times so you're not the only one basically you have to really fill your brush the belly of your brush with a lot of paint that's how you get that really dark value so and it's basically just like keep on pulling paint in and making sure your brush is not too wet so for example I have a really dark value here and if I have my brush and I grab some but I have a lot of water on my brush that's the darkest it's gonna be if I take my brush and hit it off the side so it's just damp and then I I'm gonna actually mix a little bit more or like I need to mix more to get a darker color mix that together so make sure your brush is not super wet when you're trying to do dark values it still needs to be moist because when a brush is too dry you're going to get this texture okay so it has to be damp hit it off hit the actual bristles off the side of a cup back and forth pick up a lot of paint there's your dark values okay good question Kuna okay so so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take I'm going to take that same dark value pull it off to the side so it's nice and light now because I want a light value and I'm going to start kind of following these like dotted lines that I have for shadow now I traced my outline pretty dark so you guys can see what I'm doing try and make your outline as light as possible because as you can see you'll still see the pencil marks through the paint especially on lighter values so I'm just kind of following along also I want to point out the brushstrokes that I'm using I am just doing these like feather edges one swoop with my round six so I'll show you down here so I'm just going up and the great thing about rounds is you get a thick and thin line at the same time so when I start off I want it to be thicker and then at the end edge of the line like the end of it I want it to thin out so I'm basically like to exaggerate this motion I am pushing and lifting and lifting up away from my paper to get that kind of brushstroke if you need to practice that a couple of times if you're not super familiar with painting you can I'll do it in a darker color to show you it's like this so I'm pressing down and then I'm I'm like lifting up at the end I'm almost kind of like whipping my brush where it's like wah wah wah okay oh and then once you're used to that moat that movement when you do like the edges of feathers they're gonna overlap and run into each other and that's okay that's what we want but this is kind of like the shape we're looking for here okay but see how these are thinning out at the end we want that and again you can put hints of other colors in there like I can put a little bit of purple maybe a tiny tiny bit of the of the red to mix in with my purple to get more of a pink purple it's up to you it's your painting and then it's gonna be the feathers are gonna be darker underneath this brow and underneath the beak because the brow is casting a shadow on our eye it's the same thing on our own eyeballs if you look at people right underneath their eyebrow its shadowed here and here and then the eyeball is highlighted because it pokes out from our face because our eyeball if you feel it it's not flush it pokes out so the same thing over here it's shadowed on the brow except for the eye is gonna have a highlight because the eyeball is poking out and also underneath the beak the beak is casting shadow on the neck one and to the neck if you're looking face on my chin is here my neck is here my neck is farther away from you than my chin we have to communicate that by making it a darker value so you know what I mean it's not like my neck is also here I mean they're about the same when I do this so here they're on the same plane same colors you value all the things this would be the same value when you stick it out this is gonna be a lighter at this will be darker okay so eagle here we go so I'm putting my darker values in cuz usually when your dad owes its darkest we're right where it's underneath it which is why it's dark just hearing than enlightens up same on v-neck it's gonna be dark right underneath that beak and then we're gonna just blend this color out this is a little bit more purple than what's on my reference I'm okay with that if you're not okay with that then just grab some more blue my blue mix with my yellow I made a gorgeous green so I got to get more blue on here a little bit of black it's funny right before you started painting I was looking at your reference photo and I noticed the blue undertones and the white mm-hmm but until you pointed out the purple I didn't see it at all really yeah gosh isn't that funny how our brain does that I couldn't see it one bit which is why I feel like so much about art like the very first step and learning art is learning how to see things because our brain makes it so hard our brain just jumps to conclusions so often so honestly it's like very first part seeing things second part is trying to paint what you see or draw what you see and not what your brain tells you to see but they're like two separate things you know what I mean I think so I'm learning still you are but you're doing great thank you okay so there's my darker shadow I kind of blended it out and now I'm going to take the same blue and kind of go along with some of these outlines that I have here now there are a lot of lines here it might be confusing and frustrating to you if you can't tell exactly like so clear what's going on but I basically I just don't want you to stress about that what we're trying to communicate here is layers of feathers and basically when you're doing a lot of little pieces it's the same thing with leaves it's the same thing with fur it's the same thing with feathers you're not going to paint each individual feathers it's the same thing with hair you look and you see where all those pieces clump together and then they create thicker strands or areas and then those strands and areas create shadows and that's what we paint so we're like okay some big gathered up here so and then we leave white spaces see how I'm lifting up my brush and leaving white spaces it's because we need highlights we need we need the three values we have the dark we have the medium and we have the highlight okay so you got to try and have all of those while you're painting the other thing I want you to be careful of is these are essentially like texture lines that we're painting where this fur kind of gathers and spreads out your brain is going to make you want to do a very even feather marking pattern don't solve for it that's your brain that's your brain lying to you it's if you can see on my marks here especially on the edge they're not all the same there's some that are thicker there's some that are smaller and they're spread out on evenly that's actually how things are and you can't don't be mad at your brain is just doing what it's supposed to do trying to make things easier for you which is just jump into conclusions making patterns so it's easier to pick things out okay okay so there's the bottom part of my feathers now I'm going to do the top the top is going to be a lot lighter because the light is hitting it directly and that's where most of our high light is so I'm basically just going to go in wherever I have these little lines and put in this light value blue just a hit if you want to like blend some of them out you can nothing wrong with that and then on this side we're trying to show the other eye but we don't actually see it because it's turned away from us however there's still a socket there so we got to put that in so I'm just gonna use that dark blue it's going to be darkest closest to the beak and then I just use water to blend out okay that's feeling pretty good and of course if you have to do more layers with watercolor there is nothing wrong with that especially because the technique I like to use is put the dark value down first and then blend out by doing that you tend to lose your dark value in the first place so if you need to do another layer to really if you're like it's still not dark enough and you want to do another layer on top do it nothing wrong with it I'm doing it right now okay and I'll probably do one down here too so again layers are good in watercolor we like them now if you ever make a mark that's too dark like for me I just made this shadow mark and I think that value is too dark for what's around it it's sticking out to me you can lighten things up so take your brush rinse it just have it be damp put water on that part you want to lighten and then dry off your brush and lift up the water and it will pick up some of that color and then it's gone or at least a little lighten it it won't make it completely disappear but you can lighten colors that way okay that's step 2 easy easy peasy we're gonna move on to step three we're gonna do the eyeball so I'm actually going to switch to my round two because we're gonna work in smaller areas so the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put in my pupil and the black area around the actual eyeball so I'm gonna just grab black by itself I know that in June we talked a lot about mixing colors if you don't have black and you want to know how to mix black we do that in the Jersey cow tutorial so take a look at that basically you just mix all of the colors together and you get black so okay I got my big hole here my big pupil here for the black part okay and then around the actual iris it's black so I'm going to put that in now on this right hand side I'm not making it black all the way to the blue part I'm leaving a rim right here and that's going to be the eyelid which we will paint it's actually kind of like a yellow gold color so that's just what I'm gonna do for now okay now he's looking intense isn't he okay so while we don't want to do the eye of the the color of the eye right now because our black is very wet and if we touch them together they'll blend together we'll lose our marks we don't want that so we're gonna move on to another area while that dries since we have black on our brush let's go ahead and put the black on our beak and our beak is dry so it's safe to do that so one thing we got to put in is our mouth line we're doing a close-up on this yes so when you are doing thin lines it's very hard to do thin lines so don't be upset at yourself if it takes you a while to do it okay it takes practice nothing wrong with it some tricks that I use after I get my paint brush wet with paint i smush it back and forth on my palate which will then make a point on my brush I also do a vertical hole so it's just on the tip of my brush I mean yeah just on the tip of my brush okay that's how you do thin lines so it's it's pointed it it's ready to go I'm just going to follow this mouth line right here okay it's a little bit thicker in some areas kind of like right right at this mouth just because the beaks are different shaped so they don't close perfectly they don't have like a smooth as what's the word I'm looking for it's not seamless edge smooth edge yeah there it's not like it doesn't fit perfectly you know some things fit perfectly you can't even see the line that's seamless it's the opposite is the opposite of seamless so there's so there's some parts where it's a little bit thicker okay there's our beak line and then we're gonna do the little nostril hole it's gonna be darkest at the top so I'm gonna do just black there then I'm gonna rinse my brush have it damp and blend out that black for the rest of the area and it can overlap into the yellow there's nothing wrong with that and I actually I'm going to do one more layer of that dark okay so we did the black parts of our beak and now we can move on and see how our eyeball is drying the edges of mine are dried the center is not dry yet that's fine I'll work on the edges then and then not do my iris just yet so for the like eyelid of this eye it's yellow and it's like an orange color very similar to what the beet color is beak so I'm going to take a little bit of the yellow and red and mix it to make like an orange okay and then I'm going to start putting that in so yeah yeah tell me when we're ready you see me yes okay so I'm taking this orange e gold color that's all my brush I'm gonna do a eyelid around at the bottom so I'm just kind of following this line and then to the right-hand side now here is something that I want you guys to pay attention to the top of our eyeball is shadowed because of this brow what that means is the value at the top of this needs to be darker than what's down here so I have to go in and do a darker value on the top of this like the eyelid that goes around here because it's shadowed if I were to leave that the same value then it would not match this value that's around here and the shadow that's coming across the eye so I'm gonna take a little bit of brown and just immediately I'm gonna put Brown here and here you don't have to do Brown you can add a little bit of black to it if you want but I have noticed that usually when you mix yellow and black together you get kind of a green color so see how much more realistic that looks just by adding that darker value on the top we you have to have that transition across the eye so even when we color the eye itself the top of our eye is going to be that dark green color and the bottom is going to be that yellow green and it's because this is casting a shadow on the eyeball itself okay does that make sense yes it does it makes perfect sense okay so I'm going to mix a little bit of green which is already on my palette accidentally just by yellow and blue so mix them yellow and blue so I'm gonna do so this is a green but it's a really it's kind of like a chartreuse color do you know what chartreuse is it sounds delicious the chartreuse is like a very very yellow green but it's d saturated so it's not like lime green it's like a grayer you know what I'm saying okay so so you added its complement to tone it down so okay so I'm painting this yellow green and I'm looking at this and I'm like man that green is a vibrant that's a very bright I don't want it to be that bright bright if you want it to be that bright you can do whatever you want this is your painting so if you're like no that's gonna have an electric green eye and it's gonna be insane do it but I want to tone buy mine down it looks too much like slime to me you know that color it does look like slush so I have this really great green to tone it down I will do what Keenan said which is at its complement red is the complement of green so I'm gonna grab a little bit of red and mix that in there it's gonna keep a mostly green color but it just desaturates it a little bit more and that is what I'm gonna paint with see how like that's a much better feeling green to me than what was there before it seems more related to the yellow of the pupil yes look at you okay now I'm gonna just go up with that but now I need to put in my darker value at the top to give dimension to my eye so it doesn't feel so flat there is a little white little space right here on the eye we're going to leave that white because that's the glare of the eyeball it's there because eyeballs are wet what and when things are wet they can listen they have white glares on them so I'm going to essentially mix a darker green for the top part I'm gonna put some red in there to brown it up and desaturate that color and then I'm gonna start putting that in yeah it doesn't that just give it so much more like shape I love doing that and then what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna take it a step further grab some black and at the very top do an almost black green at the very top of my eyeball and just really accentuate that shadow that's there again if you do it too dark and you're like oh no I messed it up no you didn't lift up color you can absolutely lift up the color like I just did there just take a damp brush and lift okay and you can also do hints of other colors in there if you're like you know I just really want a Golder hint instead of the green you can do a swoop of yellow right at the bottom of that eye and give it flecks of other colors because that's what happens in irises it's not usually just one solid color there's flecks of other colors and also different values in there okay and the last thing I want to do is there's actually a little slight shadow underneath the eyelid so what I'm looking at is this area right there you see that dark value okay we got to put that in so I'm just still using my – I'm putting in this dark value here just following the shape of my eyelid and then just blend it out a little maybe I'll pick up some of that blue purple so when it blends out it's the same color of the shadows now that's a good eye you know in the close-up it's a um that's a little wonky and then you zoom out and you're like holy cow that is legit and that's actually how a lot of paintings are in general which is why I always say take a step back from your painting walk away from it or something because when you're this close to it the entire time you can't actually see it as a whole you can't you can't get a feel for it so go grab a snack break break we are huge supporters of them oh ma okay all right now we're gonna move on we're on to step four which is the brown feathers of our bird which is actually really fun make sure you have some salt handy and just a little tip with salts you want to put it in when the painting is wet it will not make marks until the painting is dry so you kind of just grind some salt in there and you got to let it be and then you're gonna be surprised of what it looks like pretty much so which is kind of fun you know what I mean it's like what am I gonna get this time okay now when we do the brown feathers on this painting I'm only using my round six and I want you to really push down on your brush because all of these marks I just did in one stroke pushing down okay so this is also why rounds are amazing because you can get they can thin lines at the same brushstroke similar to what we talked about earlier so if I'm grabbing my sepia I'm gonna mix a little bit of yellow in there actually to get like a really warm brown you can do red you can do orange you can do just yellow it's almost like a golden or a honey brown color yeah I like to mix it up but essentially the brushstrokes you're making so I'm gonna use it a more horizontal hole to use the full belly of my brush can they see this from the top Kim okay and I'm just going to see thick my line can be by using the side if I'm using just the tip that's how thin this can be but we want to do like actual feather shapes so it's gonna be like like that okay okay so I'm using my six I'm grabbing some Brown I'm gonna actually mix a little bit of red because I just love I mean there's nothing like a good warm Brown to me when there's like a brown with such strong undertones of red and orange I just love it so much yeah look at that okay so the other thing I want you to notice is that feathers are darkest at the top underneath the white and that is because the white is on top of them so we need to show that there are two different levels they're very similar on top of each other in terms of the planes however the white is still going over the brown which shows that we need to do a value change at the top of the brown that's how we communicate the whites on top okay okay so I mean it makes a little bit of black in there to get that dark brown okay so here's my dark brown so I'm gonna go across the top and just kind of follow the shape I'm gonna do a little chunk at a time okay so there's my dark brown now I'm going to just grab some regular Brown and I'm gonna start doing these marks remember to lift up your brush that's the important part because we want these highlights in between okay and then when it's nice and wet and if it has dried too much you can rewedding grab your salt put salt on that okay if you want you can also drop in some yellow if you want to do just straight yellow because I love doing things like that just gives it a little bit of extra mm you can even do a little bit of red yeah look at those just hints of other colors so good okay I'm gonna repeat that over here so I'm doing my dark my dark brown right at the top okay follow in kind of this shape and now I'm going to switch to my lighter brown and use the belly to make these brushstrokes lift up your brush let there be white spaces in between let there be white spaces we want some highlights in there if you've got to retouch in some shadows because they blend it out nothing wrong with that drop in some yellow drop in some orange let it just kind of like blend out so move on now you'll see that in the reference my brush strokes my color my value got lighter as it worked it way down because I'm a huge fan of like fade-out paintings I really I'm like stuck in those like 90s music videos where they fade from one thing to another I just love it those transitions so that's essentially what I'm doing is I'm kind of just doing a fade-out so sometimes like at the bottom doing these really like these bottom ones I'm using mostly water and doing these kind of brush strokes can they overlap yes and for me I feel like I lost a little bit of my darkness after I dropped in some water to rewetting you can go back and put those in just paint right on top of the salt it might be hard but that's what I do yeah that feels better and once more I want some rat yeah oh yeah oh yes now we're getting somewhere okay I feel good about that let's keep going we got our dark-brown following that edge speaking of red would you mind your head sorry okay then using my lighter brown I'm gonna do those brush strokes and this is actually we're having a slightly drier brush can be cool because you can do some really cool textural strokes too like that okay I like those I'm gonna leave them I'm gonna drop in a little bit of color though cuz I like me some pops of color you don't have to do salt over everywhere either to like maybe you just don't love what salt does or you don't love that textural element don't put it don't put it there okay and keep keep going across like anymore okay now the only thing I'm gonna check now oh dear I'll hold on I got a black got a black speck see if I can at least lift it okay you will get specs on your painting oh I wonder if I have here is a mr. Clean Magic Eraser I need clean water though so I'm just tearing off a tiny piece of this mr. Clean Magic Eraser I'm dipping it in clean water don't use dirty water you'll just spread dirty water on your painting clean water I'm gonna go to where there is that paint drop I'm going to softly rub this is lifting up but it's also tearing my paper which if we do it gently won't be that bad and it will get rid of that spot or at least not or at least lighten it or at least not be so distracting okay if you rub hard with this it will literally create a hole in your paper so these are super handy to have because that dark spot just went to like barely their spot okay if I wanted to rub more I bet you I can get it off completely but you just have to watch it and make sure that you won't rub a hole in your painting okay see I can do the same thing probably over here but I don't mind that one that much okay so these are just really handy to have when you're painting especially an original they want to keep okay now we're on step six you guys were on the very last step which is details now when we say details what that really means is take a step back from your painting look at it from far away and say okay what are some things that I'm noticing good or bad what are things that are distracting me what are some small adjustments I can make to help this now one thing I'm noticing is you know how I said those texture marks will want to you'll make them even these are even on the bottom you see that bump bump bump so to combat that just mess it up just be like okay I'm going to fill you in here I'm gonna fill you in over here I'm going to do a darker one down here and then it's not so even anymore okay I'm gonna do some I'm gonna do some like darker shapes here just a few brush strokes maybe darken and go in and do like thinner lines cuz you have to pretend that the white part are actually feathers laying on top of the brown so we sometimes have to go in and sharpen up some of these edges can you so by going in and doing smaller detail brush strokes and sharpening up I get a better sense that it's white feathers going on top of the brown by the shape of them does that make sense yes it looks that way actually good good good good I didn't mean that to sound I think you did make it okay and then another thing that I'm seeing is I left a little white space when I did the shadow in between the beak and this shadow and that's just because out of habit I like to try and leave little thin white spaces in between new edges and colors in case they bleed together but you need to fill that in you don't have to if it wasn't distracting you were bothering you you can just leave it but the shadow would continue underneath the beak right there's not like a white invisible outline around the beak interesting because the way my mind interpreted that was because it was separate from the body you were seeing behind the beak and the shadow was in a different spot from the beak so the beak is here yeah the shadow would keep on going regardless of where the beak lands right which is why there wouldn't be a white outline around the beak is what I'm saying yes yes what you're saying makes sense but I hadn't thought of it that way yeah until you said and that's why a lot of times when we're doing like mountain scapes and skies a lot of people will actually follow the shape of the mountain when they're painting but they have to keep in mind that the sky color is totally independent from the mountains as in the the sky doesn't say Oh what is this mountain line and make sure the colors line up with the mountain the colors goes on behind the mountains the mountains are just in front of it so it's the same thing with shadows which is shadows are gonna go on regardless of what's in front of it so you have to make sure that that continues if that's how it would continue yeah I mean yes okay perfect fabulous okay and then I'm going to do a slightly darker shadow right off of this beak because it's coming out from that feathers was about safer okay yeah there yeah I kind of want to just play with this nose okay if you want to put a little bit more color on your beak you can I'm like man I just want like a brighter orange right here again there's nothing wrong with layers don't be afraid to do this mmm that just made it pop you know yeah yes it's done good job you guys I'm so excited to see how you guys do with this project I know it seems really intimidating but hopefully by breaking it down step by step explaining why we do the things that we do it will help you better understand how to paint this and also when you're ready to go on to your own projects you'll keep those little things in mind so you can start painting whatever you want to paint if you painted with us share it tag us on instagram let's go make art or hashtag let's make art we have a facebook business page called let's make art and we also have a wonderful page that's separate from our business page and it's for the sole purpose of simply sharing what you're making that includes our let's make our projects so go to let's make our watercolor if you want to share what you've made or see how other people have approached the same project super informative it's not there for competition it's not there of who's been painting longer and blah blah blah all it is is by looking at more art you will learn how to make better art 1 & 2 when you put yourself out there and you're courageous and you do this it gives other people permission to do the same thing and if you even if you're not totally confident if you're just like I'm just gonna put this out there and I'm gonna do it that will make somebody else be like yes we tend to only post things when we're like been painting for years and when we love it and it's the best thing we've ever done and then people assume that some people are just born with this talent and they didn't struggle for years or that they never mess up absolutely we just don't share that part of the process so start sharing that part let's get rid of that idea that people are immediately can do this right out of the gate and never make any mistakes at all because that's not how it works it's just like any other skill so whatever your level I highly encourage you to put yourself out there show what you're doing show your journey look at these cool start salt textures that we got they are beautiful Oh people ask me about salt what to do with it after it dries I just leave it on the painting or like at the I'll just knock it off like this I very rarely rub it off just in case the painting is still wet because I don't want it to smear so that's what I do but you can do it everyone if you need any of these supplies or the kits for this just go to let's make art calm and that's it bye you


  • Dell Hambleton says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you. I do find your talking to someone off camera distracting. But, still… great tutorial!

  • Linda Wells says:

    The camera loves you Sarah AND you are a great teacher. It all adds up to a very enjoyable learning experience.

  • Pause Créative says:

    Magnifique "Bald Eagle" Thanks for sharing!!! Brigitte

  • Sue Moreau says:

    The Wha wha wha cracked me up

  • Leslie V says:

    This might be my favorite tutorial. Love the subject.

  • Judy Breedlove says:

    Great tutorial, especially for World Watercolor Month. Thanks for sharing your fun class.

  • Billie Anderson says:

    Wow.. I traced it and as I was tracing I was thinking hum. this will be interesting.. but you make it look so easy. Excited to do soon.. Also since I don't use tracing paper but watercolor pencil to trace image how would you do the top of the head so it's not the black line? Would you just use the light very light blue to give the head top?

  • Char M says:

    The ratio of pigment to water will determine how saturated it will appear on your paper. More pigment + less water will result in rich colour saturation. Less pigment + more water will create weak washes.

  • cindy j says:

    If I erase the outline on the top of his head, how will the form be seen?

  • Marie Hindman says:

    Can you tell me where to get the project outlines on the website?
    Thanks for teaching and sharing Sarah.

  • Mike Sackmary says:

    Sarah ! Keenan! You guys are great

  • Sue Liberto says:

    Great question, Keenan! I struggle with that too.

  • elizabeth Hill Rush says:

    i love that you add other colors in the 'white' feathers, bits of blues and purples. I am learning a lot with your tutorials. 🙂

  • Marcy Dome says:

    Awesome eagle, Sarah!! Such a beautiful rendering of a majestic bird! I would have been too intimidated to try it without your help.
    My sister and I were surprised and delighted to see an eagle recently near our hometown in central Ohio. Such a treat!

  • Linda Cast says:

    I appreciate when the picture of the subject is in the camera’s view, as it is around 8:33. 🙂. And where you had graphite outline at the top of the head, do you go over that with the blue-ish color that is in occasional swishes in the top of the head?

  • Kaitlin Hasler says:

    Their calls are actually pretty weak for how wicked/cool these birds are! But oh well!

  • Cathy & Mike Quimby Quimby says:

    Thank you Sarah, for all the explanations and tips. You are such an excellent teacher. 💗

  • Judy Smith says:

    I've been looking forward to this one since I first saw the picture, but now I'm even more excited! This is gorgeous! Can't wait to paint it. (Maybe later today!)

  • Cracker's mom says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Looking from below the beak / head area reminds me of snow capped mountains. It's no wonder that this majestic bird is our national emblem. Thank you for this lesson!

  • Rose RiverSong says:

    As always, just an awesome project! Thank you!

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