A Complete Guide to Watercolor Cardinal Illustration | Art by Snehal | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

A Complete Guide to Watercolor Cardinal Illustration

teacher avatar Art by Snehal, Watercolor Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Art Supplies

    • 3. Choosing Reference Images

    • 4. Bird Anatomy

    • 5. How to Draw Cardinal

    • 6. Outline The Sketch

    • 7. Choosing Colors for Cardinal

    • 8. Painting - Base Layer

    • 9. Painting - Mid Tones

    • 10. Painting - Dark Tones

    • 11. Painting - Eye

    • 12. Choosing Colors for Branch

    • 13. Painting - Branch

    • 14. Bonus Video

    • 15. Thank you

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


If you are a bird lover and adore the beauty of a pretty cardinal but struggles with drawing then this class is for you.

Snehal has spent time on painting hundreds of birds and come up with the easy techniques to follow. You will learn the simplest way of layering techniques that you can incorporate into your artwork in effective way.

In this class you will learn:

  • How to draw bird
  • How to paint bird in 3 steps- ¬†base layer,¬†mid tones and dark tones¬†
  • Techniques which you can apply to any watercolor project

You will be creating a beautiful cardinal illustration using the techniques from this class.

Even if you are new to watercolor or drawing, you will find this class helpful to create your own cardinal illustration using provided stencil of cardinal sketch.

Thanks to Kathy at backyardbirdnerd.com for reference photo.

Photo/ Image: pixabay.com unsplash.com 


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Art by Snehal

Watercolor Artist


Hello, from Art by Snehal. 

Snehal is a Designer and watercolor painting lover with a Fine Arts background, originally from India. 

Her interest in the watercolor arts began when she moved with her husband from India to the U.S. in 2014. Soon after she moved here, being surrounded by countryside and urban wilderness, her love for flowers and birds started growing. 

She find her inspiration comes from being in nature. Most of the birds she painted, were visited her patio.

She found that art always came naturally and allowed her to express the way she felt about the natural beauty around her.

You can see all her paintings on her Instagram @artbysnehal. or Visit her blog on https://artsnehal.wordpress.com

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Nicole. I'm an artist and designer with fine arts background. Welcome to my class on watercolor card in the illustration. A low painting, Flowers and boasts. In the past few years, I have created lots of force illustrations. I mostly work it, combining clues and modern watercolor technique. If you are aboard lower on our daughter beauty off this pretty gardening but struggles withdrawing than this glasses for you. In today's class, we will go. Where about everything you need to know on Cardinal Watercolor painting. We're gonna be going overboard and adore me. How to Joe Cardinal, How to paint it Using learning techniques and many more, I have also provided a cardinal sketch which you can trace and start painting as a special gift. I have added a bonus video which include sample illustrations created using the same cardinals kitsch and the end off this glass. You can choose anyone off three projects or you can create all of them. We will be covering a lot today. Don't worry. I have divided it into small chunks, so it will be easy to hold up. So let's not waste any more time and hope on to the next radio 2. Art Supplies : these 30 all over the place we will be needing for cardinal. Poor illustration. This is a green paper which I will be using for a straight past trip. Cardinal Sketch Demo. This is a watercolor people which we will use for painting. It's a cancelled 1 40 found fortress paper. Then we will need pain still for drawing. These are 23 types of brushes, small and medium. Small pressures may be used for details like Bill and I. Then this is a white marker toe ad highlights. This is a 0.1 pain for outlining we will need on a razor. People travel and clean water containers about pains. I'm using Mitchell Omission Gold color palette. I usually mix my colors here. It's very comfortable for me. This space is dedicated to mix warm colors under says, for cool colors you can use any other prime travelers are living with you. It's all right. If you don't have any off this articles like black or white markers, I will guide you how to paint without them. Next, we will see how to choose reference images for painting 3. Choosing Reference Images: I draw on pain words, mostly from reference images. Personally, I find it difficult to pain boards from imagination while choosing a reference image for painting. These points will definitely help you. Focal point. Your photo should help some point off interest to make it. But painting. Avoid clutter proper lighting. Change the lighting off your reference imagers. Avoid overexposed or under exposed measures, then good quality. Look for the high resolution photos where you can see all the details off subject, which you can capture in your illustration composition. Considered the bulls angle and position off your main subject, then last and most important point is copyrights. Please do not use or paint from Ofoto unless you know it is three off copyrights. Let me show you some examples off reference photos I would want to pain. These photos would make a great reference for a number of reasons. There is a beautiful contrast between background and foreground. There is a strong she. There is a good arrangement off subject. High resolution images will always help you to translate the details on Big Bird like Michelle. You couple of examples I would a while as a reference photo, some issues I can see with this reference photos on composition buys. Overall, it looks mess ups. That is no strong focal, buying branches equally focused with poor. I mean, subject is lower. You can't see the details well enough to capture in your painting. And in this case, too many subjects at those subjects are dominating remains after, like the bird feeder Onda, female cardinal. Almost everything is in focused. Now you understand about choosing referencing measures. Let's Sieber and autonomy in next lesson. 4. Bird Anatomy: to properly draw and pain boards. You have, you know, some basic and adore me off outside, off a bold. There are many more times than those are listed here. Some are appropriate for one ball and not for others such as Cardinal has crest, hiding and being bus. Some both have these characteristics on. Are those does earned here? I have created a diagram for your reference. Now you know the board and our Tommy. Let's see how to draw a cardinal step by step in next radio. 5. How to Draw Cardinal : before started drawing off any bird. First off, so couple of things simply see how weak Issa head into comparison to the body. How long is the tail and the shape of the big etcetera? Every bird has different body proportions. Let me show you are easiest way which will definitely help you drawing any birth. Let's start with a reference photo. Now I'm explaining your digitally, but you can use a print off reference photo for you to try digitally using iPad or any other drawing toe. Okay, lets start building a simplified structure by using basic shapes like lines and circles. It will give you the idea off his body parts on its proportions. Look for his position and draw a line in the direction than this oval for the body. A circle for head, a line for Bill and I. Then look at the tail angle and draw a line. Then let's hear you got the basic structure. You must be wondering how the sheikhs will help us drawing a bold Now I will quickly transported toe paper and for you how even uses trump gentle draw upon, follow the same sequence and draw the structure slanting line for his posture than a body, then head, then the line and draw the lines for foot. Now we have got the basic structure. Let's try in these parts will start from B. We will be drawing around this reference lines draw the crest, blackface and I. I know that I is closer to his bill Now. Join the head and body with gentle called. Now let's hurt more counters for his back, and things don't hesitate to correct your shapes. Those lines are just for reference. Let's draw the underdog awards absurd. The tail feathers. They are underling on each other and draw accordingly. Now let's move to fit. Look at the reference picture. Check the thickness office fares and draw accordingly. The fingers are long and team notice. How is it? Took a perfect ship toe. Ambrose. A branch before drawing a second leg. I'm going toe quickly. Outline a branch so it won't look hanging. No wording needs. That's trotters that can lead. Let's rather observing, which was behind his legs. You can see it partially. Oh, I'm just making some off the lines prominent, so you will see it clearly, also hiring some details on his skiing. - Now you know how to drop world using basic shapes. Next, droit on whatever the paper are used tracing provided in the project section. 6. Outline The Sketch: I have already sketched the cardinal on watercolor paper. Hope you have done it, too. Grab a point when my gran pain here I have left the multiple pencil lines just to show you how to get rid off them. I usually do very lightly and avoid outlining its not a rule but my personal choice. Many off you must re drawing board first time, so it is alright to have multiple pencil lines to get the correction. My practice. Gradually, we learned to drop with many mom strokes. If you have rested using a stencil provided in the project section, then you probably have less chances to have multiple pencil lines. Anyways, I'm using a point on my cramping. You can use any other find lane markers like shopping. Don't press it too hard to strike to draw on that exact shape so we can leaders the rest of the lines. This outlining short book as a reference line, not as a thick black line which will to stop about painting. Let's hear is the unnecessary pencil marks, and we are all set for painting. Next, we will have a look at how to choose color palette 7. Choosing Colors for Cardinal: by choosing a color palette off. Soto. Subject carefully in this case will start from Chris. There is a slight groom yellow, 10 year low orange on his face, the orange route on his bill, then the order on his body. Next, four things dead I share So bones. Let's start from reddish brown, brown and black for face on to mix infant daughter Brown's to get Morgan negotiates off tail feathers. Usually I were using direct black for Martinus. Instead, I use blue, but in this case began, use black. Next women start with baiting. 8. Painting - Base Layer: I usually start painting with applying clean water wash, leaving white spaces in between, considering the light source will apply light application off yellow orange as a first layer. A body off board. As I mentioned, I am using Mitchell Omission Calculus. Every brand will behave differently, meaning in big men and density. Now we'll slightly alter the color with thrilled orange tow ARD Chris Strokes. Now quickly board a brush and blend the colors drugs to take text regular out. You can use the pressure or use a corner off people travel. Hold it like this and press and left up. Next, apply water and continue adding Bessler toe boards, body by the color. Israel weight will go ahead and are different. You. It is creating interesting fracture as the colors are brooding themselves but letting technique. We start with lighter applications and gradually get darker. Applications will progressively at that our core values in straight off riding them quickly . It will be difficult to lift a darker values to make them lighter in some cases, whereas it is always easier to start with light goods and work your way to dark as the baby Bessler is done. Let's move toe under Derek awards and being produced. You're using a different you. No tak. When bottle fallopian dries, it looks much lighter, so dispatch over here will look lighter. Ben dried out completely. Next move. Moving feathers. Let's start with back. Look at the reference image. Now we need to introduce Brown for being photos. Use a little put off orange and then reddish brown, just to let you know that the other side off ballot is out of frame. I have loaded my brush with reddish brown color. Look further, further directions on Apply you brush strokes in the same direction. Don't worry. If you put too much pigment out of dying, you can always lift it up that your brush. Take it out on your people. Simply hold your brush in slanting position and use a tip off. Your brush are teens. Folks don't need toe are details to them right away. We can are them in layers now loaded the brush with black color, applying it at the end of the things and then moving toe blackface. Apply the water board and then gently touched the loader. Brush with black color. Now we have covered almost 80% off Burfict base layer. NextWave Alarm. It don't stop. That will paint bill until letter 9. Painting - Mid Tones : As we begin with a mid tones, we need to increase epic mention density. I have loaded my brush with or injure on adding the color in specific areas you may need to work as quick as possible. Wash the brush. Take extra voter out on paper. Double on blend those brush strokes with a brush if you do it slowly that it will be difficult to blend those strokes very smoothly. Violent a color is still. Wait Notre brush with rate and added on specific areas. Always keep in mind that whenever you are high intensity pigment used very approach to plant a brushstroke, smoothly highlighting me tones. Take care off. Highlights result of ICT so it will create interest rate depending now Moving forward off Soter darks and lights on the reference image and use the same process to add fota mid tones. I tried to reach the color palette enough frame such a V that you can see me mixing colors . It will be easy for you to understand. Er mixing and its application carefully leave the base layers and highlights as it is while applying for the layers. - I'm just replying the pigment on specific areas and quickly planning it with the help of clean brush. His Billy part is almost done. Now we will move to his back and being fiddles. I have loaded my brush with brown color. Brown pigments are on the other side off ballot. You won't see me loading the brush. Follow the same blending technique, applied a pigment. Then clean the brush and use the drugs to plant a pigment for being Fido's darkened Irving strokes and use orange as a base layer in those caps. At this point, you can switch to a smaller crush, so it will be easy for you to a 15 strokes. Now go ahead and used are good brown. Use a little bit off black at the end of the wing feathers, loading the brush with or injured and continue adding the strokes on being bus to wear further darker values on things. Let's switch back to a smaller brush. It's loaded with darker brown and applying it on specific areas. At this point, I'm gonna go ahead and are more dark tones on his wings. Here we are done with adding made values on being feathers. Now we will move today, applying water gosh with medium brush now loaded the brush with or injured and applying it on specific areas now using brown toe added in between. At this point, we will continue adding another dark earlier this time, used little bit off black and added on specific areas, preserving highlights. Now let's army turns to undertake overs feathers. You don't have to add the dark pigment all over it. Just put it on specific areas and blended using clean weight brush. Let this part dry. We will add for the doctor's letter to the Times, which to smaller thrush, and let's move to build for that start with applying water wash, leaving some white Spacey's. Then apply a base layer off yellow orange while the gallery still read our orange and blended smoothly, full of the same process for the other part off. Bill, Here we are done with me tones. We still in tow, our darkest drug values bean I and legs. Yet we will do that one by one 10. Painting - Dark Tones: darkest dark and lotus loads are equally important in the painting. I have loader to brush with reddish brown color. This will be our final color applications off. This time we will be using high pigmentation and least water, but we will be sticking to the same technique, reused too long, using the very brush to plant his heart strokes. Just check it out darkest rock values on photo and try to transfer it on your paper that can start and lighters light refer to values how dark or light they are. The lightest light in a vertical A painting maybe are recommended to be the vita off the paper itself. To achieve that way, the people is left empty as not painted. You can see how I'm lifting up the extra color by brush and taking out it on people over. Let's move toe back and being Fido's on our another dark earlier, I'm trying to get a feather shaped the brush. There is a blood on his face and color. Let's take her off that tow plane. Those drugs I'm using the puff clean with a brush notice. After a certain time, I'm planning the tip off brush on paper double. There is a bit offering under his black face. Observe all these tiny details and try to transport it on your paper. Now loaded the brush with brown and airing it near the riding and color. Let's move back on being fiddles. I have loaded the brush with British brown color and using the depo flush toe. Add Irving bar strokes as we are a blind are Kazakh values. I am using more pigment while applying strokes and then using water to blend it smoothly. This where there won't be any shop that just left behind. Now you sing little bit of black to wear on specific areas. It will create a death in those being bus to our further dark strokes. I'm switching to a smaller poorer, so it will be easy toe 15 strokes. As you see we have already achieved. Low and middle values now simply are thin black lines, so it will create some texture over there, rending this black patch with border so it will create some depth over there. At this point, we will continue a ring the darko values under the Irving, creating dejado underneath stuffings dark and light will lose no starter. Communicating the board form with the stroke of values on brush will continue toe add some contrast, went under. Tell Fido's It's time to wear some black to create hires. Contrast, - adding one last layer on under Turco What Fido's now Let's our darkest dark on his face. Though it was all black. Be careful about preserving fight spaces knows likely blending. The shop is off his black patch. Next, we will move to build, switching to a smaller brush in order with or injured and adding it on specific 80 years. Also, the doctors on the reference photo and try to add it on exact same 80 off bill. Blend it with border now using darker brown and applying it on the right. A job will let it dry till the time Let's move to fit, using the same smaller brush its load of it late for Terry Brown and applying it as a base layer. No, now adding a bit big mentor ground only on the right age. You're trying to create some texture on his food. The other fetus, quite darker as his body shadow is over there, let you drive for another layer we stayed late to paint thought of ing. Let's load the brush with reddish brown and applied as a base layer. For secondly, I'm using darker or blackish brown lets her one last dark Laurent food using blackish brown here, using the same dark color on adding darkest are con Bill Harding of everything lying has a bill separator. Next we will paint and I 11. Painting - Eye : I grab a point when my gran pain or use any other fine liner, make a circular Oakland like this, make another one inside that as an eyeball on the upper side. I'm using the same brush as it has a good point, but you can use any other smaller first leg number zero or one using a rotary black and applying it on the outside often I, and blending it in majority now, using pure black for insert circle. Live that Why don't empty as a highlight if by mistake, you painted the end our circle, the news of white marker to add a dog. Now let's have some highlights on things. If you don't have a marker, then you stay quite pain and added carefully, my guiding lines with Russia, it would be a little tricky, so I would recommend, if you how white paint, and that would be really helpful. Now let's hear something dark lines with my Grandin that is, that we are done with Cardinal Bull. Next, we will see the color palette for branch painting 12. Choosing Colors for Branch: Let's hear a photo photo and see what colors we can use for Branch Printing. The Resale Walker $10 butter dish tone brown and black It is already we don't our but ideo brown's. You can string paint with single round firing. Different use like you can mix little bit off orange and red to get reddish brown stain. For dog brown, you can add a little bit of black tweet. Now you know the color palette for these. Next we will start painting branch. 13. Painting - Branch: for Branch. I am using William Brush. I have changed the water, so if we don't get any orange pigment on branch also, I have looked a color palette now so you can see the colors I am using. Let's start with the local just pushing up the tone to a paper on dragging it with the help off clean water. Let's say a bit off brown. I know you know the technique applied a pigment and blended with freight clean brush. Very lately, we have got kind off first light. Good Here. You can see I have left a little bit off wives here and there. Now let's grab a your local again. But this time in Greece, topic mender density. Applying it on specific areas, preserving highlight. No, I'm just dragging things alone. At this point, we have enough mottos on paper. Let's load the brush with darker brown. Notice the doctors on reference image and accordingly, try to transfer it on people by using a tip off brush. Just touch it on specific areas, is going to create a very shops rules. But don't worry, we will plant them quickly with clean with a brush. - This way We are trying to get some fracture over here it while it's still with that Scrabble dark. It's dark pigment this time, mixing little bit off black as we are using black. Be careful by adding it on people we need toe just right. Amount off black. Otherwise, it will look muddy again. Book as quick as possible to avoid the patches off black. Blend them fit clean weight brush. - At this point, switch back to a smaller brush. Use the same dark color and apply teen strokes carefully under the fit. No blend them fit water. This may be caught some shadows over here and now it's looking more natural. Missed really toward nails, so grabbing a 0.1 micron pain. Draw nails and use small fresh to plan that black ink. If you don't have my campaign, you can use gel pen or any other fine liner. That's it. And here we are done with our Cardinal Particleboard illustration. Next, there is a bonus video for you that will give you an idea how you can use the themes cage and make my right off illustrations out off it 14. Bonus Video: here is a special gift Variations Creator using the same Cardinal sketch Uris Project one. It is the same as we learned in the class a cardinal sitting on a branch which you can free and hang it on the boy project to accreting guard. It could be a whole regulating guard or gift card. The means of Jake Byrd and its position is common throughout the options. I have just read unusual hold radical elements and made a composition. Here is another example. Instead of fine cones you can use by needles and holy Berries Gulen to paint holiday decor elements. You can check this class in my profile and it will guide you. These are the examples for your reference that turned out this class. You can choose an even out off this projects or you can create all off them. 15. Thank you : Congratulations on completing the class. Don't forget to upload your project in the project section and follow me on skill share. So you will get notified about my every new class for more war paintings. Follow me on Instagram at Art buys me. Thank you.