Basic Watercolor & Ink Illustration: Songbirds | Amy Giglio | Skillshare

Basic Watercolor & Ink Illustration: Songbirds

Amy Giglio, Watercolor Artist

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14 Videos (1h 24m)
    • Introduction

    • Lesson 1: Materials Needed

    • Lesson 2: About Reference Photos

    • Lesson 3: Understanding Bird Anatomy

    • Lesson 4: Observation

    • Lesson 5: Pencil Sketching

    • Demo: How to Create Feather Textures

    • Lesson 6: Inking

    • Lesson 7: Applying Masking Fluid

    • Demo: Variegated Washes

    • Lesson 8: Painting the Background

    • Lesson 9: Removing the Masking Fluid

    • Lesson 10: Painting Our Bird

    • Class Project & Thank You!

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About This Class

In this class, I will cover basic drawing and watercolor painting techniques with a specific focus on songbirds. I will take you step-by-step through my process of creating this type of mixed media illustration. I am excited to share this approach since it is one of my favorite ways of creating artwork. I love the way the ink and watercolor look together!

I will do my best to keep things as simple as I can, while also sharing my best practices and tips along the way. I will talk about how to choose and combine reference photos, tools for observation and seeing basic shapes, methods for creating textured ink linework, how to paint a simple background, and then finally, how to bring our subject to life. In keeping with the songbird theme, I have chosen to illustrate a cute black-capped chickadee!

These lessons are geared towards beginner to intermediate skill levels with some prior experience. General knowledge of art materials, drawing, and watercolor painting is a bonus but not required. By the end of the class, I hope to leave you will the tools and understanding to apply these techniques to any subject matter of your choosing! If watercolor and ink is something you enjoy or always wanted to try, please join me in the first lesson to get started!

Copyright free reference images can be found at and

For further reading on nature drawing, check out naturalist and artist John Muir Laws:

Or for birds specifically:






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Amy Giglio

Watercolor Artist

Welcome! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Amy L. Giglio. I am a watercolor and ink artist living in Cincinnati, OH. My three passions in life are horses, art, and nature. I am going to be honest, it has been difficult for me to find an occupation that really made me happy. Numerous jobs, eight years of college, and two bachelors degrees later, I finally glimpsed a ray of light on the horizon as I began working as a graphic designer. A profession I saw as a balance between ...

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