Expressive Birds in Watercolor Class | Bianca Rayala | Skillshare

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Expressive Birds in Watercolor Class

teacher avatar Bianca Rayala, Watercolor Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

13 Lessons (2h 14m)
    • 1. About The Class

    • 2. Preparing For The Class

    • 3. Peacock Pencil Sketch

    • 4. Peacock First Wash

    • 5. Peacock Adding Details and Contrast

    • 6. Flamingo: Pencil Sketch

    • 7. Flamingo: First Wash

    • 8. Painting The Water

    • 9. Flamingo: Final Details

    • 10. Parrot: Pencil Sketch

    • 11. Parrot: First Wash

    • 12. Parrot: Final Details

    • 13. Key Learnings and Class Project

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About This Class

Welcome to my Expressive Birds in Watercolor Class!


I love the vibrancy and spontaneity of watercolor! The beautiful flow of watercolor on splashes, splatters and bleeds. It has a special way of allowing us to freely express our emotions with every stroke.

In this course, we will embrace the freedom in watercolors as we paint bird artworks. In your final project, you will create a panorama painting of flamingos on water and a vibrant Macaw Parrot using liberating watercolor techniques.

To achieve that I will guide you through sketching, color mixing, and step by step painting process in a way that you will fully understand the mind of watercolor. I will teach you how to be fearless in using water to make watercolor work for you to have a life changing painting experience!

Art has a power to make life more colorful and alive! I cant wait to share the same thing with you. I'll See you in class! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Bianca Rayala

Watercolor Artist


Hi friends! I'm Bianca and I'm a watercolor artist. My purpose is to inspire people to discover and pursue their creative passion. See full profile

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1. About The Class: Hi, I'm Dr. Ayala in a more watercolor artist. My purpose is to inspire people to discover and pursued their create their fashion. I love the vibrancy and spontaneity of watercolors. The beautiful flow of water and pigment from splashes, splatters and leads simply amazes me. It has a special way of allowing me to freely express my emotions in every stroke. In this course, we will embrace the free them in water color as we've seen, beautiful bird artworks. In your final project, you will create a panorama beam. They are flamingos on water. Vibrant Macau borrowed using Liberty thing and modern watercolor techniques. To achieve that, I will guide you through sketching, color mixing, and step-by-step painting process in the way that you will fully understand the mind of watercolor. I will teach you how to be fearless in using water to make watercolor work for you to have a life changing painting experience. Art has a power to make life more colorful and alive. That's why I can't wait to share the same thing, the same experience with you through this class. 2. Preparing For The Class: In this course, I'm going to teach you how to paint birds using a variety of different watercolor techniques. We will start with learning how to portray beautiful flamingos and incorporate water in the plot. On our second project, we will do a much liberating painting experience, focusing on color bleeds and color connection as repeat the vibrant Mahal parrot. Since I've seen from my previous courses how you appreciate breaking the lessons into small practice exercises before diving into the main beam thing. I will be showing you how to plan the home position of your painting. How to easily sketch, how to choose colors. Maximize limited color palette. How to keep the painting news, airy and expressive. We will learn how to lose control of watercolor by taking away the fear of using lots of water and pigment. I'm excited to guide you on each area so you can enjoy and fully maximize the learning experience from this course. So let's start with the materials that I will be using. First is watercolor paper. This one is an A4 size watercolor sketchbook from after. It is made of 100% cotton cold press paper. The good thing about using cotton paper is its ability to absorb good amount of paint and water. It also doesn't dry as quickly as irregular beeper, which allows us to work without feeling so hurried. Next is what their color beans. This particular palette I'm using is from Paul Rubens. One is a good or set, one the other one is irregular and watercolor set. We will also use an opaque white paint for the flamingo painting. I found it very interesting to use this theatre beans on white paper because of the Bastille like she'd and gentle shimmer the haulers possessed. I will use few pinks, blues and purple from this set to feign mostly everything. And since it is impossible to create 3D dark tones using the metallic set, how will just use few dark colors from my irregular palette to be dark tones like flamingo legs, beaks, in some highlights. It is not a big problem. If you don't have a glitter beams, you can definitely use regular watercolors for this project. I will be sharing some alternative color mixing recipe using a regular watercolor as your guide. For the Macau Barbara, I will be using the regular set as a one degree, very bright and bold colors. Now for the brushes, I have here two kinds of brushes, both from silver brush. First is Renaissance brush, which is made of pure red sable hair for my washes. And second is silver silk. It the eighth synthetic brush for defining the painting. You can also prepare a small flat brush to paint the water fragment. But it is completely optional since you can use your own brushes for that fragment. I want you to prepare also pencil, eraser, two cups of water in the shoe paper. 3. Peacock Pencil Sketch: Welcome dark class where we will be painting a beautiful beco. Let's start with a pencil sketch. On the landscape format beeper. I will position the head of the peacock in the first, third part of the paper. I don't put it in the center as I want to have more space to portrayed the expressive feathers on the right, I start sketching the general shape of the head and the beak. Next, I draw the crown like. Then proceed on drawing the body. Keep your strokes to light so you won't damage the paper when you need to erase mistakes. Next, I draw the tail feathers, just copying the outline and not diving into much details. I draw some outlines for the feathers and draw random. I said there's around. I go back and draw some details on the beat. Let's finalize this sketch by defining some lines and comparing it once more to the reference photo. This is our pencil sketch. 4. Peacock First Wash: The painting process is simple. First we place the tonal values on the initial wash and then we add the contrast and details on the second part. We will still paint in a very loose and expressive style. So expect that we will play with a lot of water freely flowing on our paper. Encourage you to play and enjoy the process, to let go of control so you could experience the joy of letting water being for you. So here I'm getting a saturated mix of see blue and some burdens and blue colors to give the holler some shimmer. See blue is quite similar with phthalo blue. I start painting this lower part of the body since it is the part with a dark tone. Then using a watery brush, I spread the color to create a change in tone from dark to light. I load my brush with some paint again and splat, They're going to this direction. I splatter by tapping the handle of my brush. I continue lightening the inner part of the body. They mentioned. I also got a thicker paint, the dark and the other fragment as well. And connecting the body and the tail feathers. Now I get a very light mix of blue to paint the upper part of the body. I also get a green shade by mixing see blue and lemon yellow to paint the area below the head. The important thing on painting the bodies to make sure we apply correct tonal values so we can give the body a form. And they mentioned, I do the same process on the head. I started with the dark part, then spread the color by diluting it with water. I leave the white portions on the face. I just get a very watery mix of violet we did with a bit of black. Now let's move on to painting that tail feather. I create a green mix using lemon yellow and see blue. My mix is very creamy and saturated. I let the colors connect by adding the next color while the first color is still wet, I try not to copy the details exactly as I see them in the reference photo. So what I do is I play with color transitions to portray this fragment. I use the same colors and mix and match them to create different shades. In this way, we also avoid getting muddy color mixtures. I carefully paint near the body so the haulers won't get mixed up. Using a synthetic brush with a creamy mix up, I create some loose strokes to add texture. I also mix a bright color. Now let's make scholars for the feathers. I, you see blue and hookers green to create this blue-green color mix of being a dab my brush on the paper, the bain, the feathers. And they mostly on the right side and limit the strokes on the left. Next, I add Indian yellow color on the IDE vendors. Last layer of color is c mu. All of the vendors are done. I will create a watery mix of see blue mix with a bit of this leftover green's. The area with the mixture and the feathers to bleed and flow. This is the part where I want you to enjoy watching the lead on the watery surveys and let go of control. It looks scary to have a pool of water on your paper, but trust me, the watercolor movement feels like magic. I've been just a small portion on the left side is a one, the feathers to be concentrate. Then on the right, I soften the edge by just adding a lot of water and also splattered some beings. The tricky part here is to know when to stop. I suggest you stop before you think it's enough. Try to step back and stop yourself from adding some more strokes to avoid overdoing the color, especially on the left side. Our aim is to put more weight on the right side and keep the left side very light. Now that I'm done painting the background feathers, I create a very thick mix of blue, green to dark and the IDE vendors for the beam to stand out from the surface. Next I get my fan brush and get the thick mix of branch and the in yellow ocher mix, Wiedemann leftover beans, offenders. I make a very light strokes. We define brush. I use my liner brush to paint very light random strokes around. This process should be done when the background layer is still moist. So this strokes would look soft and would blend in smoothly on the base layer. While waiting for this layer to dry, you can use your natural hair brush to seep in the extra bottles of water on your paper. I suggest doing it this way or using the Azure rather than wiping them off to preserve the natural effect of this flat there. Let this layer dry completely, then we will paint the Entrez. Indeed this on the next video. 5. Peacock Adding Details and Contrast: Let's finalize our beak off my enhancing contrast and adding details. I use a synthetic brush and a mix of dark blue color. We see blue and green. I start painting the dark portions on the face. Then using the same brush, I soften the edge so it will blend smoothly on the first layer. Do the same thing on the other dark fragments on the fees. I keep the top part of the head the lightest bar is, so it would look rounded. Next I end up crown also with a creamy beam. It has to be thick, so it will stand out against the background. I darken this plot below the head. I still use Payne's gray and see blue. I simply look for the dark tones on the reference photo and adjusted the ones on my painting. I finish off the head by painting the eyes. When I left the small white dot on the I bar to give life on this. Lastly, I get the violet color to enhance the mean. We are done with the head. Now. I get my natural Red Sable brush on some portion of the body to portray its fed there. Maintenance strokes, light and drag to create this kind of effect. Next, let's add the details on the tail fan there may adding some dry semicircular. I just use a darker shade of green, yellow, orange on the upper body. I notice that the eye feathers have lightened so much after drying, so I will repeat painting over them again. Using this synthetic brush, I dab thick paint on each eye feather. Notice that they don't outline each completely. It's still keep my stroke loose and not uniform. One thing is consistent, and that is I'm using thick opaque layer of colors. Next I create a brown mix using branch. Since I don't want this drove. So this trap thing, I use my fine brush to spread the color from the diagonals. See how the brown strokes have been using. For our last step, I use my liner brush to create extra seem fine strokes for added texture. Let's finalize a painting by adding some dark spots here. This separated from the background. This is our final painting. 6. Flamingo: Pencil Sketch: In this lesson, let's look at how to plan your composition and why it is so important to consider this before doing your painting. How we arranged the elements in our painting will determine where we want to direct your viewers attention. With that, it is essential to identify the correct positioning and the horizon line to prevent her work from looking k with Dick, but rather United, regardless of paper size or format, you will be using. The first thing you must decide on is where to put the horizon line. It should not be at the center, but rather on the upper or lower third of your paper depending on what you want to focus on. For instance, if this is my sketchbook spread, I will be painting on the entire spread as a wanted to have like a panorama of flamingos enjoying the water. First is to identify the horizon line. I position it on the lower third of the beeper as I wanted to have a bigger space on top to paint the full body of the birds. Second step is to decide the number flamingos you'll be pleasing and of course their position. We should position them in a way that they look connected. That's why if you would notice I retain this to flamingos overlapping each other. And notice also this one flamingo at the center of my page, so that it occupies both pages of my sketchbook. Doing this connects the flamingos on one side and the fleming goals on the other side. I encourage you to look beyond what you see on your reference photo. Feel free to add or eliminate things that you feel would enhance your picture. Now let me share a practical, they don't make sketching a lot easier. So using this reference photo, Let's draw one flamingo. When I sketch, regardless of the subject, I also look at the general shape of the object. I refrain from growing the details because I don't want to overcommit on one area only to find out later on that the overall shape is wrong and they need to do it all over again. So I start from the head again, focus on the general shape. Make light strokes fors, and then we will define the shape later on. Once we have established the general shape, draw lightly the big shapes that you see on the body. Then lastly, sketch the links. When you see that the proportion of the neck and body. All right, you can proceed on finalizing your lines or shape of the head and adding some guidelines when painting the wings. So that is how we sketch the word restart from top to bottom, focusing on the general shape of the flamingo, I provided a copy of the pencil sketch for this class project in the resource section. You can also download on the resource section the reference photo in the final beam. The resource section can be found in their project and resources tab below this video. Now let's move on to color mixing. I mentioned earlier that we will be using just a handful of color to paint the entire piece. You would note this on my beam thing, that the flamingos have some cool and warm sheets, cool blue shades dipping the reflected light on their body from this guy and the reflex of water. One thing to show their blush being simply did with the light don't mix like this. Any light blue and purple color like horizon is genuine and create a mix. I use to create a shape like this one. You can use any rows and then did with lots of water. I will use a bit of yellow green shade for the water fragment. Feel free to mix the blue color is that you have in your horizon. That's all we need to prepare before we start painting. I'll see you on the next video for first wash. 7. Flamingo: First Wash: Welcome to our first class project. In this lesson, we will paint a panoramic view of flamingos over. Before I proceed painting light in my sketch, my erasing some strokes using a kneaded eraser. The lighter to sketch, the better our work will be. Since watercolor is a transparent medium, We will pay their picture using one technique. We start on building the hollers of the flamingos, then move on to the authors, then finalize the painting by adding details, contrast and highlights. Let's start with the reflected light on the flamingos from the head to the body. I use the light purplish will mix from my glitter palette. For this fragment. At the belly part of the flamingo, I painted it again using the purplish blue color to show the reflux of water. Notice that a portion of the body here on top on fainted to create volume. There are also some parts on the wings that I painted with a slightly darker pink shade to grow on its body. As mentioned. Let's move to the next version. I do the same thing of fainting the headfirst with a bluish mix, then softly transition pink color. You would not see a hard edge between the blue color and the pink color. Because I made sure to connect this to callers while the first one is still wet, is to leave the top boards like the unpainted. By this time, I'm sure you're getting dirty them on flamingos. We start again from the head and then slowly it transitions to the body. I always referred to my reference photo to look for this plots that should be light and spots that should be dark in tone. You often hear me mention about dong. Dong is the lightness or darkness of a color. Tonal value gives an object depth. And they mentioned the birds with a single tone. That image will be flat. Lots of water. So yeah. At this stage, you may feel that the bridge look pale or clean, but don't worry or dot the process. This stage of painting is designed to please the tonal values. Later on we will apply more contrast. And then you would see that the image will be more defined informed. Most importantly, you will avoid fragment. 8. Painting The Water: The other fragment we progress the aerial first with Dean water using a flat brush. The area below the horizon length. Next, I get a watering mix of pink flamingos on the water. I don't paint the entire area with just those right underneath the flamingos. Next, I create my wheel makes for the water. And it is made of sky blue, yellow, green, and blue. Using my flat brush, gently, the water would solve strokes in a lead. The lead naturally on the wet surface. You can see a soft on the surface because my paper is still wet. During this time. Darker mix up, a dark red. The water fragment is still dark background. My paper. Since I thought yellow ocher color with my brush. To avoid the gray mix on my background. Background, very light and transparent so it will not overpowered the lightness of the flamingos. The edges to create some soft edges and let it dry. Before I go back to painting the flamingos, I wanted to add some more in depth on my walker fragment using the Bluemix that initially strokes and also some interesting Walter fragment. On the next video. 9. Flamingo: Final Details: One. Notice how thick, creamy and opaque my mixture is. We need that makes it a bit this thick so it would stand out. Next, I enhance the shadows on the face and neck of the bird using a mix of violet and Scarlett. I use one brush to apply the pigment in another brush to soften the edges. Hi, dark spots. The light pink color of the flamingo. I constantly look at the reference photo, squint my eyes to see which area has dark tones in which areas should be kept light. It is a good technique to properly apply a correct tonal values. Null is go to the next bird. We will basically do the same process. We enhance the shadows starting from the head, neck, and then wings. I recommend that you use a synthetic brush and applying a hint of color so there is only a controlled amount of water in the brush. Then use a soft brush to soften or blend the edges. As we begin this bird's, it is sometimes tempting to overdo the strokes. To avoid this common mistake, I advice you to look at your work using a camera view or you can also face your work on a mirror. So in that way, it gives our brain a different perspective and that allows our brain to identify if it is time to stop already. Do the same process on the shadowed areas to define the form of the body and the neck. Another tip I want to share is to keep the wash As transparent as possible so you won't lose the freshness of your word. We are down to the last two flamingos. I'm pretty sure that they already know well the rhythm of what we are doing. However, for this last two birds, since the other one is partially Colbert, with the bird in front. In this step. Lastly, I will also be their beaks and add depth on the shape of their heads. Don't worry or don't feel discouraged if you don't get everything right in the forest, right? Remember that everything can be learned through practice and observation. Will learn by not just watching how the instructor Spain, but also be observing how they hold the brush, how they make scholars the consistency of mixtures. Here. Let's finish the painting the legs. Again, we need the links to really stand out. So using a very thick mixture with an almost dry brush, I paint the legs with a dry brush stroke with one or two quick strokes to make it look natural and not shaky. Dark strokes right? Now we need to unify the entire picture by building connection between the sky and the water. I do so by adding splatters. Using this started and violet mix that I have, I create a MOOC and mixture of paint and splatter around the area. I load my brush with lots of pigment in my brush to create this spots. Second. 10. Parrot: Pencil Sketch: Welcome to our second project, which is painting this gorgeous Macau barrel. In this lesson, we will learn to appreciate the spontaneity and uncontrolled ability of watercolor. We will embrace the natural beauty of leads, blooms, and color connection. So let's start first with a pencil sketch. In drawing any subject, I use the same principle that I keep on sharing on all my classes, is focusing on the general shape of the object from top to bottom and finalizing the details and the latter point, when we say general shape, we look at the outline of the buret and identified the big shapes that we see. Notice that they start from the top part of the head. The next is the beak. And then move on to painting the outline of the body. I just look for the big dominant shapes. On his way. Objective is to ensure that the general shape. My sketch. Before proceeding to pencil sketch in the resource section on together with their reference photo section can be found in the projects and resources. 11. Parrot: First Wash: As we paint this Mahout borrowed, I want you to challenge yourself to lose your control over watercolor. You see water color needs water at the word. With less water, it is easy to control water color. But as we lose enough water thick over, believe me, the whole painting experience will be so liberating. Don't be afraid of water. Don't be afraid to mess your drawing. If it didn't work on the first try, then try again. Remember it is just a piece of paper and we don't want a tiny piece of paper hinder us from discovering more about this beautiful medium. So let's start painting. I will paint from the top going down, I get a nice vibrant lemon yellow and a mix of cadmium yellow. To add some depth. I load my brush with a very saturated mix of color and make sure also that the belly of my brush is really fall. So I can achieve bright bold color application. I do splatter some beans on the side to create a nice loose effect. Next, I transition to green by mixing the greens on my Padlet, like hookers, green, three green, sky blue, and my leftover yellows. Because later on we will transition to create a very saturated, slowly mix of colors on the paper and just let them bleed and flow naturally. Notice the puddles of blue paint on my paper. You would see how watery my mix is and how loose strokes are. There's actually no detailed and bytes strokes Don Domain defenders. I lead the natural splash of themed, portrayed the form of the brute. Now I need a darker blue color, so I add base grade, DO my sky blue. To add depth and dimension to this part. We need the varied it dawns to achieve this. As I move fragment and create big bold strokes using my brush to cover large areas. The lesser stroke and fresher, the artwork will be a yellow orange feathers on the bird's face and body. I create a reach yellow orange mix using lemon yellow, cadmium yellow in Indian yellow. Again, my mixes very creamy and saturated. And as I apply it, I connected to the blue fragment on the head. You will see natural color bleeds between blue and yellow. I avoid blending them manually using my brush. I will not create a harsh green leaks and let the two colors blend naturally to create a beautiful natural green blend. And since the consistency of pain that they use for both losing the others are really thick. The color bleeds are not due explosive. I continue painting the body with the same yellow mix, but they add that bit of cadmium red light to out there the door. It also makes the overall image more interesting if there is a play of colors in bones. Now I want you to note this, how I dab my brush to apply my bead and how we maintain a bright and thick consistency. As a reach the edge. I made this rule loser by slashing my brush. Now let's been doing with the vibrant blue mix, which is the same with the one that they use. Hi, my brush. Now I've changed my brush to a synthetic one to paint some illusions of feathers on the wings. I use a synthetic brush, so the brush doesn't contain much water and I can create this defines what the fragment is still moist. Remember that we are aiming for a loose in impressionist paintings, so don't get lost in painting every feather that you see on your reference photo, some suggestive stroke are enough to portray. I tried to work or add darker tones when the layer is still moist. Doing so will help me define strokes with soft edges. If your workday is completely dried already, the heart dentist may look distracting. So the key here on this step is to learn the word fast So you can maximize the time that your paper is still moist. 12. Parrot: Final Details: Using my strokes, Let's paint a darker yellow feathers. The form and shape, and just darkness depending on how it should be based on the reference photo. Once you This will help you. Hi, on his face. For this. Some random spots. 13. Key Learnings and Class Project: We have gone to the end of our course in a whole new God inspired the paint and enjoyed watercolors like never before. If you follow the lessons and trust yourself, I'm sure you can easily create your break beam things. Doing the tool class projects with open yourself to understanding the mind of watercolor for different painting approach. I want to see your final pain things in the project section so I can personally witnessed your creative journey. As you do your final projects. Don't be afraid to use water and pigment and feel free to experiment and create expressive strokes. Step out of your comfort zone and try something you've never done before. But most importantly, don't forget to have fun. Thank you so much again for joining me in this class and I look forward to seeing you on my other classes.