Watercolor Bird Painting Tutorial – Step by Step How To Paint a Chickadee With Watercolours

Watercolor Bird Painting Tutorial – Step by Step How To Paint a Chickadee With Watercolours


Hey guys, I’m Emily! Welcome to my channel!
Today I’m going to demonstrate for you how I painted this whimsical, cute little
chickadee from start to finish. I’ll show you some of my favorite techniques for
painting feathers as well as some fun background splatter effects so be sure
to watch all the way to the end! For today’s painting I’ll be using the Windsor
Newton Cotman set and I’ll also be showing you how I use the water brush
which is included with that set but before we can do anything else we need
to transfer the image to our paper. For a more detailed explanation on how I do
this you can also see my video on how to use transfer paper. Spray your paints to activate them and
fill your water brush with water. To use the water brush you just gently squeeze
it to release the water. It can take a little bit of practice to figure out how
hard to squeeze it or how much water you need to wet your paint
but with just a little bit of practice you’ll figure it out. It’s really fun and
it’s nice to have something so compact with your set so that when you travel
you don’t even have to bring brushes with you. All you need is your water
brush. For the background wet the paper with clean water all around the outline
of the bird. I’m wetting areas of the bird’s belly because I’m intending to
let some of that background color bleed into the shadows on the bird.
Using the small mixing palette on the Cotman set I combine burnt sienna and
ultramarine to create a neutral brown. Drop this into the background.
What you see here is called the wet in wet technique which is wet paint on wet
paper. We want the background to be loose and expressive. I’m using some ultramarine to paint the
cool shadow areas of the tail feathers and belly allowing these colors to blend
into the brown background. The only water I’ve used up to this point is just the
water that’s inside the water brush. This part of the painting process can seem
the most scary because you can’t always predict how the paint will flow but it’s
also the most fun I think. Continue to work wet in wet around the
shape of the bird with brown and a hint of alizarin crimson to suggest maybe the
color of some winter berries. Start to paint some of the major shapes and
values. I quickly paint the shadow side of the
branch using black allowing the shape to blend with the dark shape of the birds
claws. Some of this black may bleed a little into the background which is okay. While I still have black on my water
brush I paint in the eye but I’m careful to avoid the highlights and I also paint
the bird’s black cap of the head. Because the background is still wet my dark
black paint bleeds into it resulting in a fuzzy feather texture. I love it when
the paper the water and the paint all work together to create just the texture
I want. I look for other areas that are dark and
paint those in. I can also define the tail feathers a
little more with black and a light ultramarine. To define the outline of the bird I
darken the background some more blending the edge constantly. And I also darken the shadow areas. I always slow down and paint carefully
for the details like the beak. Because the head is the focal point it will be
the most realistically rendered part of the painting. I add light hints of yellow and blue
where I see them in my reference photo and I’m also defining the shape of the
head just a little bit more. I felt like the background paint near the right side
of the head got away from me a bit so I lifted some of that wet paint out with
paper towel. I wanted a brush with a finer point than my water brush so I
eventually did switch to my silver size 4 round brush just to add the detailed
texture to the head. For the belly I’m careful to paint in
the direction the feathers are growing. I add a darker layer of black to the
tail and the tree branch and I add more fine brushstroke to the belly and head. The last step to add more of a whimsical
feel to the painting is to add some splatter effects. I used my larger size 8
round brush grab the yellow and tap my brush to splatter the paper and I’m
doing the same thing with alizarin and then for the turquoise I just paint
on some of the watered down droplet shapes and do a little bit of spattering with
that. I actually do push around a few of the puddles until I’m happy with the
balance of shape and color. Even with something as spontaneous looking as
paint splatter it should be done in a harmonious and intentional way. And
that’s it! If you guys have any questions about this bird painting or any other
topics related to watercolor please feel free to leave me a comment! I hope you
enjoyed this video! If you did please be sure to hit the like button and
subscribe if you’re new here. I’ll be posting new videos every Tuesday,
Thursday, and Saturday and be sure to hit the bell so you never miss a single
video. And share with all your friends who’d like to learn watercolor. Thank you so much for watching today!

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