How To Paint A Fieldfare In Watercolor – Bird Painting (Video Tutorial)

by | February 19, 2019 | Drawing Birds, From my desk, Illustration, Video, Watercolor | 2 comments

The fieldfare is a common bird here in winter, and it’s a delight to paint. In this video I share my entire process for painting a bird with a lot of detail.

How to paint a realistic bird in watercolor

Click on the video to start the tutorial. You can slow down the video (in the Youtube options) to see more details.

I start with a light, but exact graphite sketch (after making several studies beforehand) and layer the watercolor in several washes from light to dark.

I paint in a dark value (eyes and feet) fairly early in the painting process so I can adjust the other values more easily. I don’t always do this, but I often find it helpful to get a feeling for the full tonal range.

The light washes come to life when they are layered on top of each other, and you will get a luminous, rich color over time. It’s important to use transparent, single-pigment paints for this. Applying brush strokes with the texture in mind (feathers, beak, smooth or ruffled) will help to achieve a realistic effect.

You can see me erasing parts of the drawing with a kneaded eraser - these don’t leave bits on the paper and are not harsh on the paper.

I use high quality paper (100% cotton) that can take a lot of mechanical stress - painting several layers and lifting paint repeatedly is not a problem for this paper. Use your inexpensive (cellulose) paper for sketchbook work, for detailed paintings you will need something that can take a lot of water and will work together with your paint.

Materials I used for this painting:

Paints: Schmincke Horadam Neutral Grey (PR255 + PO62 + PB60), Transparent Siena (PR101), Transparent Umber (PR101), Transparent Yellow, Winsor & Newton Davy's Grey (PG17 + PBk6 + PBk19 + PW5), Daniel Smith Buff Titanium (PW6:1)
Brushes: Leonard size 4/size 2 round brush (synthetic)
Paper: Arches hot-pressed

I love exploring the natural world with watercolor, and I especially love painting birds. I hope you’ve enjoyed this detailed tutorial. If you have any questions or comments or want to see a specific tutorial in the future, please let me know below! Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don't miss out on future videos.

 

 

Creative online classes

Would you like to learn more?
I’m teaching online creative classes on illustration, watercolor, gouache and more via Skillshare. You can get two months for free when you sign up through my link and take hundreds of classes including mine. :) It’s a great way to connect with other creative students and learn from the best creative teachers out there. Sign up here: Get two free months on Skillshare!

2 Comments

  1. It was nice to watch the painting process. Thanks for writing, here, what you did exactly. That was very helpful.

    Reply
    • Thank you very much Paz. :)

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Julia Bausenhardt Illustrator & Nature Enthusiast

In this blog I write about art and nature, sketching, pigments and watercolor techniques, nature journaling, workshops and more.
I want to show how you can connect to nature through making art in your sketchbook, and how you can discover both the natural world and your own creativity that way.
julia-bausenhardt-2017-72dpi

How To Draw Birds

Learn basic techniques for drawing and painting birds in my new class! Take a look at my step by step process, learn about bird anatomy and get practical tips for drawing birds from photos or from real life.

 

Learn more!

Go to the Archives

Get two free months of Skillshare

Get access to thousands of classes, including mine, free for two months. Click on the image above (or click here) to grab the deal.

 

Join the Newsletter

Get new posts about nature journaling, sketchbook techniques and watercolor tips directly to your inbox every week. You will also be the first to be notified about new online classes and giveaways.

You have Successfully Subscribed!