How To Draw Birds - Basic Techniques For Drawing & Painting Birds | Julia Bausenhardt | Skillshare

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How To Draw Birds - Basic Techniques For Drawing & Painting Birds

teacher avatar Julia Bausenhardt, Nature Sketching & Illustration

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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

20 Lessons (2h 36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools

    • 3. Examples

    • 4. Basic Bird Anatomy

    • 5. Quick Gestural Sketches

    • 6. Posture & Proportions

    • 7. Defining Angles

    • 8. Adding + Refining Color

    • 9. Adding Details

    • 10. Painting Demonstration: Blackbird

    • 11. Painting Demonstration: Chickadees

    • 12. Practical Tips For Better Bird Drawings

    • 13. Share Your Project

    • 14. Final Thoughts

    • 15. Bonus: Painting a mallard

    • 16. Bonus: Painting a waxwing

    • 17. Bonus: Painting a goldfinch

    • 18. Bonus: Painting a woodpecker

    • 19. Bonus: Painting a barn owl

    • 20. Bonus: Painting a goshawk

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About This Class

NEW APRIL 2020: Added 7 news painting tutorials!!!


In this class, you’re going to learn the basic techniques for drawing and painting birds. I will teach you principles you can apply to any bird drawing, and I will share my step by step process, as well as practical tips and tricks for better bird-drawing.
I will show you how you can draw and paint birds from a photo or even sketch them live in the field. We will take a detailed look at my process by drawing a songbird together, and I will show you how you can explore on your own from there.
We will use different materials like graphite and watercolor in the class.

This class is perfect for anyone who wants to learn to draw these delightful creatures that can be observed everywhere, and who wants to connect with nature through studying and drawing birds. The class is great for beginners, and with the step by step process I show and a bit of practice, you’ll be drawing realistic birds in no time. You will need basic drawing skills for the class, and a way to add color to your sketches.

What I want to show you is that drawing birds doesn’t have to be difficult.
You can use the drawing techniques from this class for any creative project involving birds, or simply for exploring different bird species in your sketchbook, or journaling about your bird sightings in nature.

I’m Julia, an illustrator and nature journaler from Germany, and I’m excited to share my favorite sketchbook techniques with you.

Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Bausenhardt

Nature Sketching & Illustration



Hey, I'm Julia! I’m an illustrator & field sketcher from Germany.

Join my Newsletter to get regular inspiration about sketching, painting with gouache and watercolor, and how to explore nature through drawing and painting, plus news about classes and giveaways. Or connect with me on my Youtube channel.

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Julia and Illustrator and Nature Journal. Thank you for joining me in this class. You're going to learn the basic techniques for drawing birds. I will take you through my simple step by step process for drawing songbird and show practical tips and tricks for better birth drawing. I will teach you how you can approach drawing birds from a photo are even sketched them life in the field. This class is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about drawing builds and wants to connect with nature through studying these delightful creatures. The class is great for beginners, and with a step by step process I show and a bit of practice, you'll be drawing birds in no time. You will need basic drawing skills for the class and a way to add color to your sketches. What I want to show you is that drawing birds doesn't have to be difficult. You can use the drawing techniques from this class for any creative project involving birds are simply for exploring different bird species in your sketchbook. I hope youll be inspired to explore drawing birds by the end of this class, so grab your sketchbook and let's take a look 2. Tools: So let's take a look at the tools that he will need for this class for sketching. We will work with pencil. Usually an HB pencil is a good choice. I will sometimes use a hotter pencil. Like in this case, I have four edge pencil, which I know we're work for creating really loose and light lines and also with the more textured surface in my sketchbook. So I know this pencil works well for me. Just use what you have or what you know works well for you. Um, it's always good to have an eraser around in case you want to fix some small mistakes. Um, as for brushes, I usually use a size for a round brush. This is a synthetic brush. Really Nothing fancy. Just what I prefer to use for these quick sketches. So I also have a size two so a little bit of a smaller brush around to, um, paint in details like feathers or details around the I m. Off a bird that can come in handy if you have a smaller brush around. This is my watercolor field, kid. As you can see, it's really just a basic set. Um with basic colors. So whatever kind of Penn said you have or whatever kind off pains or colors you like to work with, this will be totally fine. And then, of course, we'll need some kind of paper. Um, yeah, for the watercolor part will need watercolor paper. I will probably use just my sketch book for this. If you prefer toe work and lose sheets, then that's totally fine. For the sketching part, you might want to have a sketch pad around. So again, nothing fancy. This is just a basic, um, sketching paper with, um, a nice natural wife. Um, just as a note, um, you can't use thes normal sketch pits for what kind of work. So if you know that you have sketches where you want to add color later than either you have to use a different kind like a colored pencil or something are you will have to transfer your drawing your sketch to, um, watercolor paper 3. Examples: ID like to show you a few examples with kind off overview off the range. That's possible with the technique that I will show you for drawing birds later so that you can see how you could use this in your sketchbook work on your illustration work. So, um, here you can see a really loose page from my sketchbook that I made from observation. And these loose sketches are sort of the first step in this process for drawing birth. So, um, you can see that these are really lose and just trying to get a few forethought off the posture and movement off the bird. And this is always something that I find it's really important to to do as the first step, which is why I have included it in this class. So, as you can see, I later have the chance to refine some of my drawings a little bit and then make even a more detailed, um, drawing on this case. I I added water color. So a painting off the bird with some details in hiss feathers and on the wing. So this is one of the possibilities, and I here we have another example from my sketchbook. You can already see there some really gestural sketches scattered around the page. And I actually I made this these first, and I then waas able to ah, watch some off them a little bit closer. And also, with the help of photographs, I could a draw in a little bit more detail. So, um, I was able to, you know, observe the patterns, add a little bit off value and the different colors you can see I made some color swatches first before I applied the color. And I still think that it's a really good practice to create the sort of quick drawings before you create a more detailed drawing. And I actually made these as a preparation for these very detailed drawings. So you can see that this is the same post here for the Sparrow. And I tried to take the elements from this sketch and the things that I observed into the detailed drawing. So you can see there are many different ways toe to approach, um, drawing birds and the technique I will show you these different steps will can lead to different results. So you will be able to do more like these loose works where you can sketch in your sketchbook, but you will also be able to read. If you want to use a refined technique, then you can also use this to make drawings like this one or this one. 4. Basic Bird Anatomy: birds can seem a bit complicated to draw because of all their different shapes and all the feathers. But there are a beautiful subject, and with a bit off knowledge and a few tricks, you will be able to sketch them more easily. I want to take a closer look at birth and after me in this lesson, particularly the head and the feathers and a little bit off the skeleton of a bird. This might seem really nerdy and difficult, but it will help you to understand how birds work and help you to draw them better. And if you want to draw a convincing bird, you need to understand what lies beneath the surface. So when you draw something, you simplify it, and without knowing what you see, you can't really simplify it. And that's why we're doing this. So your drawings will become much better when they're based on knowledge, and not just on how something appears to look. You don't have to take notes in this lesson, but it's useful to keep these things in mind. So let's start with a head. Birds have long necks, and their posture can change a lot, depending on how their turn, then it so the head can be bent in almost any direction. And it usually sits close to the body when the bird rests. As you can see in these two birds, if you imagine a line straight through the bill So like this, like this, then the eye sits directly on this line. A t least this is the case for songbirds, which we are talking about today. Birds also have different feather groups on the head, and a few of them are very prominent and I'll talk about them briefly. So you you can see that around the eye is a zone called the irony. And this has short, bristly feather. You can also see this in my drawing. Yeah, then over the ear, which is right about here. Then you have another patch of short, bristly feathers and this is called the EU pitch so you can see you the same structure here and then below the ear patch. There is a region below the bill which is called the Mala Region. This is this one here. You can see it would be right about here about the chin. So why am I telling you this, you will still see some texture in these areas, even when the bird has only one color. So if we go back to this female blackbird here on the right, then you can see these little creases around the eye and the bill. And now that you know about it, you can tell that this is in fact be a pitch. And often you will also see the boundaries of different streaks and stripes or colored areas along the boundaries off these zones. So if we take a look at the sparrow here on the left, then you can see that it's a patch is bright grey, and his Mela region is also light gray. But you can see where his stock chin begins below that, so you can also see his I ring around his eye, so please don't feel overwhelmed by all these details. But instead try to challenge yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone because this is where you learn to draw better. Let's take a look at the wing anatomy of a bird. So these are a few wings seen from the top, and this is also a wing seen from the top. And in this graphic, each of thes is a different feather group. So the outer part off this wing, which is this light brownish color, has very long feathers. And these are called the primary feathers. Then, Mort, What's the body? We have feathers that have equal length, and they are called the secondary feathers. On the inner side, there are three prominent feathers that are sort off stepped on top of each other, and each is getting shorter. These are the tertiary feathers. Then there is a bar off short of feathers on top, off the primaries and the secondaries, and these are called the covert feathers because they cover the other feathers. So here you can see how this looks when a bird folds its wing, and he has graciously arranged his feathers very clearly for us. So let's take a look at where is which feather group? Let me go back to the graphic one more time. So right here in the middle between the primaries and the secondaries, is the birds wrist, and this is where he folds it. Hiss wing to the back, and this is where the primary feathers begin to form a little sort of like a stack where the feathers are folded over each other and this is the same sport here in a photo. This is right at the front, and you can see this sin which off neatly stacked feathers going all the way to the tail. So these are the primaries, and then we can see the secondary feathers that also stepped like a box on top off the primary feathers. And then you have the secondary covert, which are this group here, and these usually are the feathers that are most visible. And they make this curve on top of the secondaries and sometimes when. But for this, have the swing boss these markings, then these on thes secondary covitz, and you can again see in the graphic I have added thes wing bots are wing balls on the secondary recovered so they would go here and you can't really see a lot off the primary covert. There are this small patch down here, so it's just this very small patch barely visible, and it's useful to know all this so that you can indicate the feather groups at the right spot. You don't have to draw in every detail. But I think it's good to simplify and suggest the details and few areas, or maybe a shadow around the edge off a feather group. And this is essentially important when you're working from a photo, because, as you can see, there's a lot of detail in these photos. And if you draw in every little line and feather than you will really overwork your drawing , let's take a look at the body of a bird, so usually the body can be described as an over or even a circle. And for songbirds, this is usually the case. So you can see here if we were to describe the body of this birth, and we could draw an oval just around his body and also smaller over to describe his head. So just don't make the body too long. And don't let the head stick out too much. So usually, as I said when both arresting the head sits fairly close to the rest off the body, as you can also see here on the body, there are also feather groups, which are sometimes marked by crease or a shadow on this little robin. Here on the left. You can see this very slight crease in the middle straight through the belly. Don't know that's barely visible and also where the shoulder feathers over left the wing. So that can be very helpful. When you look at field guide and learn a little bit about these different feather groups, I'm particularly when you want to start drawing outside. Then you can take exact notes where these feather groups started. End birds can also really fluff up their feathers when it's cold and this can shake. This can change the volume and the overall shape off the bird dramatically. As you can see here, they also tend to hide their wing feathers under their belly and shoulder feathers so you can see here and here. There are a lot off feathers where actually the wing should be, and so the wing doesn't always start at the same point, and it doesn't always have the same size either. So rather, you can't always see it. And like I said before, you don't need to draw in every feather that you can see. It's enough to indicate a certain amount of detail else. Your bird will look kind of textured or even a little bit Scalea. And this is especially important when you're drawing from a photograph where you have all the details in front off you. So remember that less is more in this case, and you can totally get away with suggesting a bit off detail in a few areas. There's one more thing that I want to show you, and that's drawing from a 3/4 angle and how to include patterns of the bird has one. So if you imagine a line through the front off this bird, sort of like his zip line, if you want, then this line will be curved. If you see him like this from a 3/4 view and if you would see him from the front, then obviously it will be it would be straight. And if the bird has a pattern like this rap in this thrush does, then it will always be symmetrical, and it will stop from the middle and be mirrored on both flanks off the birds so you can see this middle line and then the pet and starts on the left and also on the right. Let's take a look at a bird skeleton. So birds have the same basic bone structure as humans, and there are a few small differences off course. The bird skeleton is designed to be as light as possible so that it can fly and am a but needs to have thin bones for that. And there's also one big misconception floating around, and this is that birds have a backwater need, and this is not true. As you can see here, the birds hip connects to the pelvis back here, right before the tail, and then the upper leg bone, which is this one, and the knee go down from there. So here is the knee off the bird, and this longer bone would be his calf. And all of this is usually just not visible because off the bird's feathers, so the fed those and around here and most of a bird's leg is actually hidden by feather. So the leg stone start where they come out off these feathers around here. But they start for the rap. They have all these structures. This is all the birds leg that you can't see, and what you see as a backwoods knee down here is actually the ankle off the birth. So it bends forward just the same as your and my ankle, Gus. And below that, what you would associate as a shin and human is actually the birds elongated football and here eyes his toes. So a bird is actually walking on his toes. And it's useful to think about this when you're balancing your bird drawing. So birds rest their body weight above their feet. So actually back here somewhere. And when you get this wrong, your bird will look like a tips over. Okay, talking about feet. The most important part about drawing bird's feet is not to place too much emphasis on them , so you can see there bird feed look kind of reptilian and Scalea, and they are, and they're a little bit difficult to get right. So usually you'll be much happier if you only indicate them lightly and draw in and don't draw in every scale. So when you make a light sketch, then keep the feet night, too, Like I indicated here, um, birds toes do have a different number off bones in each toe and a claw at the end, which you can see here, and the back toe has only one bone. So that means that bet the back toe never curls around a branch only look at the clock and can look like it curves a little bit. And that's something that frequently shows up and begin a drawing. So, um, this actually as a mistake. So keep that in mind. And again, don't draw what you think is there, but draw what you see. Okay. Here. You can see a few pages from my sketchbook when I quickly draw birds on. I showed this earlier. Um, I start and try to get fear for the overall shape off a bird first. And when I can't seem to get a detail right, I tried to zoom in on it and draught separately. So, like the head off this belt in Shia. I wanted to take a closer look at that before I draw it with on the entire bird. So, um, I just decided to draw the head only. And so and I didn't have to worry about you know, the rest off the boat and on the right side. You see how I make these quick, gestural sketches to get a feeling for the birds movement and for his shape and this technique, we will explore in a minute. I just want you to remember you don't have to make perfect drawings. Just keep making sketches. Keep practicing, especially when drawing life birds in the field. I know they're very quick, and they tend to move around a lot, but making knots of thes, really gestural sketches will help. Also, we were working from photographs. Make lots of sketches first, so if it feels a little challenging, that's usually the right direction and going outside of your comfort zone. It's the place where you can learn new skills. So I really want to encourage you to try this out and really push through the the Resistance and birth a really wonderful subject to practice their really, really wonderful to draw. Um, yeah, so let's take a look at my process for drawing births and let's get started with sketching 5. Quick Gestural Sketches: after all this theory and bird anatomy, our bet you want to do something practical and we'll start drawing right now. So I want to share my process for drawing birds with you, and we'll start with this first step with ease, quick, gestural drawings. And I think this is a very important step that he will likely repeat often. So we'll start our bird drawing with exploring a little bit and to get the shapes and the proportions off our bird right at a later stage, we need to get a feel for the overall shape off the bird and how it moves and sits and sits . So let's do a quick exercise to explore this first step off the process. And I have provided a pdf in the project description, where have assembled a few pages off European robin in different poses. And I want you to select 10 off these birds and make quick, gestural sketches, either in your sketchbook off on your in your sketch pad. Just tried to block in the proportions and the basic shapes and draw really quickly and try to get the posture right so you can at the I and the bill and the wing position, but really just indicate all of these things. So we're really try to work quickly and make 10 to 15 quick drawings off the birds in the PDS. And I will do this along with you right now so you can see what I'm talking about. So I have my pdf open here, and I'll just start by selecting one off the birds I can see on this page. So I'll start with the roundness off the head and then just try to at the body the bill and be I He is a little bit off the wing. I'm just going to indicate where his red breast s a little bit off its markings and that's about it. So if I were watching a bird in the field, that might be the only chance I'd get at getting these proportions down. And just like this, I'll go on to to the next one. So again, I'm thinking about this roundness off the head so you could imagine on over right here I'm going to add the bill line and above that, the I and then I'm going to try and fill in. So this one is a really, really round one. So it's almost like a circle a circle his body and trying to add a line for wings. And I'm almost slowing down by explaining this to you. So talking really slows you down a little bit. I could make these drawings even quicker. Here is the tail and then the feet and okay. Adding a little bit off the markings and maybe a little bit off thes wing details. And there you go. That's all you need. And you see, you can see this isn't a really a great sketch at all. This is just really gestural and quick and on to the next one here. Okay, So you can see, while I'm usually leaving out a lot of the detail I'm trying toe always add a little bit off darkness in the eyes so that you I I like it when these sketches, um, have the bird sort of looking back at you. That gives them a little bit more life. So I always try to get that in when I can see it. And usually with these photographs, there's a pretty clear view off the I. You can also see that while these birds do have really various shapes and that I'd try and get down the head and the body first. And sometimes I indicate the the wing shape as one of the first steps to so that's always a good way to to start a bird, drawing with head, then the bill line and the eye and then sort off completing the body in the wing and then adding the tail and some smaller, some small details. But as I said at this stage you don't have to go into many details, - okay , okay, that's it. I think that's a nice page and I selection. And as you can see, not all of these are really successful sketches, and some of these are not very close to how the actual Robinwood would look. But I think I've gotten better over the course off this little session, and I will now select one off Thies to make a more detail sketch animal detailed drawing, and I'll meet you back for this 6. Posture & Proportions: so far the next step. I want to make, um, a little bit more detailed sketch off one off the reference images I have here. And this time I can take a little bit more time for my drawing. But I'm essentially starting in the similar way. So I'm trying to get a grasp off the the overall shape and I'm again. I'm starting with head and the bill, adding the I at this stage and then try to a body shape. And this is really fun because the Bert just looks like a really big fluffed up circle. So it was probably very cold when this picture was taken and can see its little wing and the wing on the other side. And again, I'm trying to focus on the shape at this stage and not too much on the individual angles. This will be the next step, so this will be a very round bird, but that's just the way it looks. One thing that I like to air from the beginning is the dark part off the eyes that it can look back at you. I'm using my hot pencil for this and drawing in very light lines sometimes for this step. For this first step, I also like to use, um, a light colored pencil. And this is helpful when you go over your lines in the next step with a Dhaka pencil to define the lights a little bit more than these lighter colored lines will almost disappear in the background. So that's a nice trick to, um, for this lesson. I wanted to use my pencil because I thought you would see it better on camera. And so this is why I use a pencil for this. You can still see that. I'm trying to keep the lines as light as possible. Okay, I think that's enough for my first step. And, um, yeah, well refined thes shapes a little bit more in the next step. 7. Defining Angles: So in this step, I want to flesh out the form off my bird a little bit more, and I switched to a slightly darker pencil. This is an HB, and I want to draw in the refined, the angles off, off the shape off the bird and also show a few more details, like the I and the Bill and some off the feather group. So I'll be working on this, and I already have my basic shape in place and can flesh it out a little bit more. So while we were looking at the shapes and proportions in the first step, we will have a look at the lines and angles in this step. So a good place to start is around the head and around the bill and I to look for really prominent angles. And maybe the IRS not essentially round but a little bit has a few angles in it, and also the bill can be a little bit more refined, and you can see how it pops into the foreground already by me, using a dark her pencil so I can already see that the head makes a little bit off a dent here. And this comes as a surprise to many people that birds don't. Just so you know, you just don't just draw a circle and another circle. But even for ah, very rounded bird like this one, it still has these little angles all over his body. And this is what I'm trying to draw in right now. So it will be more prominent, um, for other birds. And maybe the bird that you have chosen is even more angled and a few area so indicating the fluffed up parts here bit more and taking my time to work on the feet for a minute. As I said earlier, try and don't overwork the feet too much, cause it will just your attention to them. If you do it again, remember that the back toe doesn't curl around the branch, and it's totally fine to leave it at that. Indicate little a branch that it's sitting on and, you know, just by drawing what you see, this chlor comes around here again and that's all we can see off the feet. Really? There's another claw here, and that's already enough. Okay, I'm going to focus a little bit more on tail here turned on the wings and really try in this step to accentuate the angles. You see, you can also look at the negative shapes to to help you find these angles. So, um, if I were to draw in this wing, then I wouldn't particularly look at the shape off the wing itself that at these angles that you can see from the background so I can see that it goes up here and then this goes down and then this line off the chair goes down. And this is sometimes a little bit easier than just looking at the individual shape off a particular the particular body part off off the bird. Same thing for the other side. You can see this long stack off feathers here. Primary feathers are sticking out a little bit, and then we have the secondary feathers. And even in this photo you can even see these three stacked up feathers. These are the turtles that are sticking out. So I'm going to indicate these. I'm not drawing in everything, but just to remind me that there's some details, some information that can be added to the strong. So at this point, I'm quite happy with my drawing. I do have a certain amount off detail in my wings and here in the face off the bird, I can see that the overall shapes and proportions seem to be right, and I also have thrown in some angles that have helped me define the but a little bit more so. At this point, you should have a fairly accurate drawing, and when you have those, then we can switch over and toe watercolor and add a little bit off color to our bird. 8. Adding + Refining Color: so I can switch to water color now and start a few first layers off light washes. And, um, I'm looking again at my reference and thinking about the different hues and the different values. And one thing that I want to make sure that is right is the colors itself. So I will just make a few colors watches at the top off the page. So I already have my chrome orange tone here, which I think will be quite nice for the red breast off this bird. Maybe I can add in a little bit off off a darker red to at some detail later, so maybe I will just makes in a little bit off 1,000,000. And yes, that looks about right. So it's watching the colors first will help me to make the right color choices later, Ron, and I can see that this robin has a lovely light brownish turn on most of his body feather . So I do have this raw Remember, I feel it's a little bit too dark for what I want to have, And so I'm just going to add and bit off yellow Oka, and now it almost looks a little bit, two yellow wish, but maybe it's just the photo. So I I think I'm going to add in a bit more gray. This is also why it's a good thing to have at least different photos or to watch the bird. Um, you know, in the wild so that you can have accurate color information. So this isn't Obviously this isn't always such an important thing, but I really like to keep my sketches quite realistic. Um, and I try to make sure that the colors do match what I can see and what the bird actually looks like. So, um, it's helpful because colors on photographs are not really, um, they are not really always like they seem, because the light is always changing, and then the color can change a lot on different devices. So it's always good to know what a bird actually looks like in real life and to have seen it with your own eyes, so to speak. Um, we also have a few great parts on this bird, and I think I'm just add a bit off neutral gray to this Davies crave that I have fusing of this Davies Gray that I just added, here it's a really nice night gray, sort of like a slate color and the neutral gray. It's a little bit darker, and I think together they make a nice combination. And when this is light her, this will work. And also my neutral gray, which will work nicely for the feet and the bill and the I. I always like to use a dark grey instead of a black for paintings off animals and particularly in the eye area, because I find if you use just a black pigment and layer it, then it can end up looking a little bit too flat and almost a little bit dead. So that's always I always try to use, um, Gray a dark grey and particularly, um, one that doesn't have a black pigment in it. So that's just a thing that I like to do, Okay? And I think I'm ready to add some kind of to our little guy here right now. Um, I want to keep the first layup, sort off light and have a lot of water. So I'm just going to mix up this going to start with this brownish like brownish tone that I can see a lot on its body. - I see that these belly feathers look actually a little bit different than these darker or light brownish feathers here on on the back. So I think I will use my Davies gray and mix in a little bit off this lied tan color, which is buff titanium. That's very nice for birds to have around. And yes, I think this really nice and, well, just paint in a very light. Lay off this and you can see I'm working fairly quickly on this. So don't take too much time. Except maybe around, um, the the areas like the I and the bill, where I will go now with the smaller brush. And I will use my neutral gray and try to drop in a lot of color in the first first layer. So it's pretty defined by doing this already, and then I will add slightly less color to build area, and you know, you can always add more color later, So if it's too lied, that doesn't really matter. It's no big deal. I'm going to have to let this dry before I can work on the orange part so that the colors won't mix. So I will actually work on on the feet and on the branch here. And I think I will just add, um, a bit off raw Emma and draw. Draw. Pretty basic branch. Maybe add a little bit off green. This will be cut off olive green. This will be a nice contrast to to the red off the off the breast and even see that this step off adding color is actually sort of like to our three steps combine. Because once one layer has dried, I'm actually going over it with more pained, usually just the same pain that I added before and going over it in light strokes and adding a little bit more pain on a little bit more definition. - So at this point, I think we do have enough color information, and it's just about adding a little bit more texture. So what I did for this step off adding color was first adding very light washes off color and then building up layers on top of that with the same colors that I used before, but with more intensity. So by adding less water to my washes, I was able to bring out the colors and make them pop mawr, so to speak. And I also tried to add texture by adding different kind of brush strokes through to mime different areas. And I always try to apply my colors in these sort off layers to give the painting a little bit more dimension. One important factor for this is to add the color that you see and not the color that you think should be there. And this is, of course, a process that will require a lot off observing your reference photo and going back and forth between the reference and the paper until you can see that you've actually build up enough color in an area and the intensity of color that you want. So that's a really good practice for this step, and with the last step, we're just going to add a little bit more detail here and there, and then we're already be finished 9. Adding Details: so as a last step, I want to add some details, and I usually add details where I want the I to rest on my painting. So usually around the head and the I and maybe a little bit on the wings. Um, I also accentuate the edges a bit more in this step and maybe some of these wing shapes. And, um, as before, I try to think of the rule that I don't need to draw in. Every detail that I see already want to draw a little bit more attention to the head area. So actually making the lower bill region a bit darker, going once again over the I to make it even darker. And what I'm going to do is at a little bit off the 1,000,000 to my orange here, and I'm going to plant just a few tiny strokes around the eye and up here in the head. So usually the areas where you draw in detail are the areas where you want people to spend a little bit off time looking. Okay, I think our Robin looks fine now, and I'm going to put down the brush before I add even more details, and I'm going to reserve thes for the next drawing that I make off a bird 10. Painting Demonstration: Blackbird: Let's try another bird. This time I've chosen a Blackbird, which is, as its name suggests, all black except for its bill. So let's see how this works out again. I start by locking in the shapes off the bird, starting with the bill with a head. Okay, so these sketches have turned out a little bit more detailed than the gestural sketches that I showed you earlier in my first step for this, and I've actually gone ahead and added a few angles and details already. You can see the swing details here, and I think it would be nice to add a little bit off color to some of these sketches and make this a really nice looking page. So that's what I'm going to do now. I'm just before I do this. I just want to check a few off the angles on the sketches where I will add color to. So this will be my next seven. And then I will take a look at how you can actually, at color in an interesting way, when there's really only one color that is the black off the blackbird. So if you have a bird like this, where you have sort off less information about color than it's nice to have a little bit of texture in your drawing so that you can at this with your water color paint, because it's not just a matter off, um, slapping occurred off black paint on this. Now I'm actually trying to, um, render a little bit off the texture and the structure off his feathers to the drawing, and I have my I want to call us here. Actually, I think I might start by painting in So yellow bill off the birds. That's the one. One point of contrast that we have for for this one. I'm actually have this little ring of yellow around the I, too. So I'm just going to put this in, and then I'll take my neutral gray and I'm so I'm going to use the brush as if it were a pen or a pencil sort off like drawing in the lines that I can see on his feathers just very lightly, but still in the way that I can see the different so feather groups and the structures on on his body. In this way, you will have something to work with. So it's not just going to be one dark mass that you will have to fill. As I mentioned earlier, even birds that only come in one color still have these different feather tracked and areas like the year patch. And he's different zones where different feathers go. So that's also useful to keep in mind permitting . In a slight end off raw I'm, uh, and now for the second coat, I can add in even more texture and few details. So obviously they won't pop out as much as on other birds, but still think it's good to add in these details so they will be very supple father, head of this bird. I want to give it a little more subtle appearance, so I will really go light on the water color and just drop in the darkest parts around the eye here and then keep the rest a little bit lighter to have a nice contrast to that. So remember, if you want to draw attention to something than make it dark, and if you want to have something sort of step into the background, then keep it lied and keep it subtle, actually removing a little bit off the paint here again. They already be enough. So I want to try and keep this really light and feathery because this is a really fluffed up bird. So you can see that I try to use my Penn more as a drawing tool, then has a painting tool? No, he looks like a little park. But also just trying to stay true to what I can see on on the photograph, which is a high contrast photograph. So actually, I might stop in a moment, cause there's not a lot, awful lot to see. So this is another approach at drawing birds. You don't always have to fill in everything with color. Actually, I think this is a little bit too much. I hope I haven't ruined it by this. Yeah, I think that's already enough. Um, maybe just make this area bit more pronounced, and I think little bit of darkness under the eye, and I think that will do it nicely. So an approach like this could be the first layer for your painting. So if you wanted to take it from here and wanted to add color, then do as with this bird, so you would let it dry and then add a second layer. Maybe 1/3 lay on top of the or you could just leave it as it is just as a light study. Um, again, the challenge here is to stop at some point before you draw in or paint in all the details . You know? Okay, but I think this is a nice approach. I'm actually trying to to leave this page as it is. I really like the dynamic between these two drawings and then the two parts with water color. So when I think you can understand from this painting that this is supposed to be from the same birds or black bird and I don't have to actually paint in all the information to, um to bring across that this is in fact, a Blackbird, and that's another interesting fact. I think about this 11. Painting Demonstration: Chickadees: Let's fill another page with the drawings. This time I'd like to draw great tit, which ihsaa beautiful little songbird with a fun yellow and black color contrast. And they're really common here. I think they're the most common, almost the most common kind of off off small songbird around here. So, um, we'll start like we did in the last exercise with this mixture off quick, gestural sketching and, um, already defining the the angles and the lines a little bit more in the same steps. So I'm starting by looking at my reference and as always, with the head placing in the bill and then adding the I and the great thing about these little, um, great tits is actually that they have these markings, so you can indicate I'm I'm not going to do too much detail here, but you can actually follow the marking. And then they have a pretty good approximation off what their head looks like and where it's ending up and going into the neck and so on. So that's actually helpful. If you have about that, has a few more markings on this, so you can't see too much off the wing on this bird. It's pretty round and fluffed up. And if you can't see, um, certain details on the birth and don't feel that who draw them in so I can actually see the wings on this one, so I just leave them out. Actually, what might be the stock patch down here might be a part of the wing, but I'm just going to leave it like it is. And you we'll see that this will still I mean, this looks like a convincing bird study. - And now I'm just going, I'm going to leave thes Skechers fairly rough. And I'm just going to drop in some color very quickly. So I am make a few color swatches like I did earlier with my Robin, just so that I can be sure that the colors will match. Um, the ones that I can see on the bird photos. And what this a little one has actually sort of, um you turd olive green. So adding a little bit Davies gray to my olive green here. Yeah, and you can already see this is going to be a very interesting contrast. I'm adding in my trusted neutral gray here, which I have been using all the time. And then maybe we'll also need some. Davies Gray. Yes, I think Davis Cray and mix off off this neutral, neutral term. So I've prepared the colors that I want to use for these birds, and I'm just going to add a loose layer off color and not try not too fast around with it too much, and then we're going to add some details in a second step. So remember to keep this fairly light and try not to overwork your sketch. And since all of the's areas need to dry, I will actually work on all off my birds at the same time, so to speak. So and when I see that a bird has a lighter area, then I remove the pain from my brush and just go in with water. And just like that, you will have a brighter area on his feathers. - I've decided that while these yellow areas are drying, I can add a bit off detail to the eyes because these are really not connected to anything else that I can see here in the eyes and maybe the little bill, too. So it's always a great thing to um And when you want to see the whole value range off the bird, I can see I've actually forgotten the year perch year. So this is why the bird looks slightly weird. I'm just going to add this in below the eye here. - Okay , Now I'll add in the neck area, which is this doll olive green that we sampled here. - And I'm now switching to my smaller brush with the mix off David's grain neutral, great at a little bit off detail to the Tayer. And since that has already dried here, I can go in with my neutral gray and at the dark part off off the chairman off the head so you can see there are really different approaches to how you can paint boots. New Kingo with a lot of detail like a showed for the robin. Our decide to keep it a little bit more loosely. You can still decide to have several layers of paint, even though they're applied really loosely, - and I would really need to do something about this. I So right now you can see there's no highlight on it, so it looks really a little bit like it's a dead bird and we don't want that, so I will need to go back into this with a little bit off white. Later, - while all of this is drying, I can go in with a little bit off raw. I'm a and just lightly draw in these branches that the birds are sitting on. So now comes the interesting part. I have my small brush loaded with neutral gray, and I will add a few details and ah, bit more contrast to some of these areas. So and don't be afraid to really punch in. Some contrast at this point because you are painting will need contrast. Ought will look a little bit unfinished, so don't be afraid to go really dark if you see really dark areas. Another thing that I want to add is a little bit of feather detail. So as you remembered, this is a great way to indicate that the whole bird has feathers, and you know, it's not just a smooth surface, and I will do the same thing for all my other little models here. Another nice trick to add a little bit more texture and interest to these white areas is to take a really small amount of Davies gray and just drop in these little brush strokes. Not everywhere, but just in a few areas where you can see a little bit off these feathery textures. Okay? And I think now is a great time to add back in this highlight in its I. I think that's already much better. Maybe even a little bit off textural highlight here. And another thing that's really fun. ISS using this gel pen to add a little bit off visual interest. He rent there. So adding these white details with the jail pen helps me Teoh get the I A place to rest on and gift the sketch is a little bit more punch. And, yeah, I will refrain from adding more so you can see this is a really quick process. If you were to do only one bird instead of four at the same time, this is a really quick process to do a quick drawing and a quick painting over red and just simply add one layer of color and then add in a few details with your brush and maybe with ah, jail pen. So this will give a very loose but very life Lee impression off a bird 12. Practical Tips For Better Bird Drawings: I want to share a few more practical tips for drawing birds. Let's start withdrawing from photos so you will obviously need image material for your drawings. And the best source for this is always your own photos. So you know, you know you can use thes without hesitation and they're your own. Obviously, it's at times it can be a little bit unpractical to first make the photographs and then just stop drawing the bird and eso. I understand this. I don't always make my own photographs, either. And luckily, there are few places on the Internet where you can find photos that you can use so good source. For photos that are license free. Eso free to use as a reference to paint from is the side picks obey dot com. And using copyright free images is a good way to do this because you won't have to worry about hurting someone's copyright or anyone coming after you because you infringed on their copyright. There are also Facebook groups that share photos to use her artists. Look around a bit and see what suits you best. There are wildlife art groups and bird art groups, and sometimes there are photographers who share their photos in these groups for others to being able to paint of the motives for the start, it's best to pick a bird that doesn't have a lot of complicated patterns on their wings or a lot of details. So, um, as you can see on the left, this starling is just looks like a lot of work. So I think it would be better to start with something like this bird on the right here. Um, also try to pick, oppose where you don't have too many details showing. Um, make sure the image is clear and sharp, so you can see most off the details that are important for your bird. So if you don't know the bird, then it can be very easy to confuse, you know, details like, um, where the wing starts, how this tale structure works. And this is good to get right when you have a shop photo and some tips for sketching birds in the field and from observation. And yet again, Ah, two pages from my sketchbook. Um, what I would say is try to approach every bird as a new shape and every you can you can start us a new sketch from for every movement that the birth makes. So, um, if it moves, you know, just start over and try to finish the drawing when it hops back into the different position that it was earlier. Um, try to trust the bird and trust the shapes that you see. It may sometimes look very again. It's important to block in the general posture first and not start with the details. And that way you will have something to work with when the bird flies away and you can, you can always fill in the details later. Here's again a quick look at what we did earlier. So, um, this process that I showed you for drawing birds and just again very quickly block in the general posture. First, don't start with the details. So start with these rough shapes. There's this oval and then another oval, and then this triangle shape for the for the wing, and then you can refine your drawing, and then you can add color on top of it. So don't start with the details, and particularly when you work with life birds in the field. This way, you will have something to work with when the bird flies away 13. Share Your Project: so I'd really love to see your bird drawings. You can create a project with your quick just roll drawings. All show a finished bird with all the steps that I showed you. Like the robin that we did earlier. You could also do these more loose and quick color sketches that we did with the grated. And with this blackbird, Um, feel free to DRoberts species that you love. So you'll notice that it will be easier and more fun than just following along with what I did that said copying as a first step for understanding the concept is absolutely fine too . So feel free to use my examples to get a grasp off the whole process. Yeah, Please upload your work to the Project gallery to share your findings with me and with the other students. And I'm really looking forward to seeing your work 14. Final Thoughts: I hope you've enjoyed this class on how to draw birds. We've looked at my process for drawing birds from sketch to finish painting basic and after me to give you a better understanding off birds and some practical tips for making better drawings. There are lots of possibilities to include bird drawings into your projects so you could use thes skills for drawing birds in your nature journal or to experience birds outside at the feta and connect a little bit more with the natural world. Offer any illustration projects that you might have. I'd love to see your work, so please share your drawings in the project can agree with us. Make sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified about new classes, and I also love to hear what you think. So I'd be happy if you left a review for the class. If you want more tips and resource is about nature journaling or drawing birds, then feel free to check out my block. And remember, getting better at drawing birds and observing will only happen if you do you regularly, so make sure to get out there and draw a lot. Thank you very much. I hope this was helpful class for you. See you outside and here on scale. Share 15. Bonus: Painting a mallard: I'm sketching a Meller that swimming in water and what I'm looking for in my sketch are the basic shapes first. So the big round head with a round cheeks and then the body and the tail. And here, most important angles. So the head that's not quite rounded. And I am doing this by looking at the negative shapes. So this is helping me to get more accurate sketch, and I'm also drawing in some water lines. And now the I. And here on the head, I'm adding a shave that's going to be dark later, as mallards have these iridescent feathers on the head. I'm also adding in a few off the feathers of minutes have quite the big feathers and a bit off water around the animal. And basically, that's it for my sketch. So I'm getting up my watercolors on. The first thing I'm painting in is the green hat, and I'll add a second layer on top later, which will be the the iridescence, the the metallic effect that you can see on a lot off water birds. You can see I'm adding not only one Rinne, but actually a few different colors, so yellow and blue. This will register as change off few colors in the sun, So with a big brush, I'm starting to paint in the wing. Feathers and breast feathers of these are in raw sienna and burnt sienna mix here, and I'm painting in this big secondary feather, which has an interesting radiant. So I'm dropping in darker, pained on the bottom, which will find its way up. The dark scapular feathers actually cover a lot off the wing in this doc, and I'm painting this with CPR. So and what have how? It's always a bit different than in songbirds, so you sometimes don't see the same type off wing feathers in these birds and, for example, a lot off the wing can be hidden by, ah, shoulder feathers or breast for this, and they have sort of a different configuration off bigger Herschel and secondary feathers . He ran painting the tail with ease characteristic rounded feathers, and I'm painting around the white part off the tail, dropping in a bit more off my dark off my neutral gray and adding in the eye. So for the bill, I'm using a mix off, transparent yellow and a tiny bit off raw sienna, and the front part off the wing has this middle gray, which I have mixed from neutral gray and a bit off whitewash, and I'm spreading this throughout the belly and the other feathers here. I'm not trying to get an accurate rendering off all the single feathers on the bird, but I'm trying to keep it loose, actually. Ah, large part off the belly off. This bird is almost white. So what I'm painting in Here's mainly the shadow, adding another layer to the breast area with burnt sienna. And now I'm painting in the iridescence effect with a layer off grey on top off my green. You can see this immediately registers as darker green, even though I have used a basically a black color on top, and I'm softening the edges a little bit to indicate that the head and the neck are round. I'm also darkening the wing and the tail. I'm refining the color off thes big feathers a little bit more so when you're painting ducks, it's important to get the proportions off the head and the bill right, and these are very different for different kinds of ducks and and water birds. You can see a tiny bit office foot year and another thing that I will be doing. ISS, I'm I'll add Ah, a bit off the water and the reflection in the water later, and now I'm adding a few waves off water and the reflection. As you can see swimming. Darks are submerged with a part off their body, so the water line cuts across the body and the bird doesn't really sit on the water but in the water. So remember that when you're drawing, you're duck in water and the reflections actually can show different parts and different dark parts in the water. Then you can see on on the actual bird, so it all depends a little bit on the angle, so the bird and it's reflection are not simply mirrors off each other. And one basic recipe for getting convincing reflections is just to keep it simple and not spend too much time. So these really lose brushstrokes most off the time will do a great job. I'm adding more detail to the I, and two parts off the tail and the wings with my fountain pen on my last step is Stark Ning , the wing a bit at the end 16. Bonus: Painting a waxwing: I'm sketching waxwings, and these are beautifully colored birds as big s starlings. And I'm approaching this sketch like I usually do, going from basic shaves, basic round shapes to, ah, checking the angles on the bird and then adding details and more refined edges bit by bit. And I've already laid in the markings in the face. So these birds have sort of this interesting blackface mosque, and now I'm adding in more detail around the wings. And, um, waxwings have thes interesting wide yellow and especially these red little thoughts on their wings, which give the birds their name. So I'm trying to get all the markings and the details, right so that I don't have to work that hard later when I'll start to paint. So I'm switching toe watercolors now, and for this bird, I'll show you a different approach that you can use instead of working with color straight from the beginning. So this time I'm adding the value structure so the light and dark values the shadows that I can see in the bird, and this will help me to get a more three dimensional looking bird body later, because I just will have to add the color on top off the values that I have already established. And you can see I'm using this kind off purple gray mix for the the darker values. And I'm just trying to establish the the main patterns, the main blocks off bell you hear so under the wings and where wings cast shadows on the tail, and then some of the areas where the feathers are a bit fluffed up and generate these sort off light values and around the head, so color and pattern and also lighting can cause major value changes. And this way I'll get a more realistic looking bird in the end. So this Justin idea for you, if you want to approach your sketch a bit different. So I'm mixing the color of my uec swing, and I'm trying to keep this very simple. So just using buff titanium with just a little touch off red for the main sort off 10 color that this bird has. The color changes a lot, depending on the light. And so I'm trying to keep this sort off light and not too muddy not to, Gray added. Another painting. Another sketch off this bird earlier, and I didn't like how it turned out too cold and too muddy. So be aware of this when you are sketching birds with that grayish brownish look. And now, before I do anything else to the wings and the tail, I'm adding thes bright, you know, patches these parents so that I don't over paint the areas. I never get back this intense color later, and there you can see the red dot, which gives the bird its name. So this wek sweaty looking spot and I'm using a bit off connected own gold and red for the masking red masking around the face. And I'm softening this area a little bit with the wet brush. Obviously, this has to dry before, right? Add anything next. Swit. Now I'm adding almost black pains of very dark ray for the wings, and you can see I'm painting around the wide areas thes white patterns on the wings. So I'm trying to keep this sketch spontaneous and lose, but for things like thes small patterns, and these small patch issue will have to be a bit careful when painting them, I'm also using really concentrated paint here to get really are dark contrast. I'm using more diluted version off the same grey for the feet. I make them darker later on. But for now I'm just content with this light gray, and I'm adding a second layer off buff titanium over the 1st 1 and you can see the opacity off the paint. Here it covers up the darker values a bit bit more than usual, adding some light grey for the beak, and I'm establishing the dark areas around the eye and the iris. So waxwings have thes interesting black face masks around the eye and also around the throat. But I will paint that later. So I'm making this yellow tip on the tail a bit darker, and I'm adding a bit off this read around the tail or it's an orange red, really, and you can see I'm darkening my buff titanium a little bit with CPR, orb raw amber. And then I'm adding more definition to the wings and to the darker areas off the shoulders , adding a second layer off my Krenek Redon gold and red makes to the face area, and now I'm adding the doc throat. You can see that the two mosques too dark areas don't touch. So Ah, there's actually a bit off white in between, and I will add that back later with whitewash. And although I'm adding, um, see me opaque colors here. So this Rahaman buff titanium, you can still see the values, the shadows that I established from the beginning. You can see I'm using white gel pen to make the white markings around the wings a bit more visible. And I'm also going over that with whitewash because it's a little bit more powerful, a little bit more pick so you can see it immediately pops out. When I used brush with my white paint and I'm adding a few docker values to the feet just to make them read a bit easier and also to the beak on making this shoulder and this belly area just a bit darker. And now that it's dried, I can add the details with my white wash waxwings have this sort off this lower white I ring beneath the mosque and then this. What streak? That sort of elongating the beak. I'm just adding a few feathery strokes here and there with my jail pen just to give the bird a little bit of texture, and essentially the sketches finished. No, I'm adding a bit more off interesting Ah, feather structure with colored pencil. You can see how well you can work over these dried areas off watercolor with a kind of pencil, so you can really change the color and the texture off. Often it's already established area, and since I don't want too many feathers, I'm going over this again with a big brush and a little bit of paint. So I take it back a bit, and that's essentially it for this sketch refining the yellow areas one more time, and that's the finish wax wing. 17. Bonus: Painting a goldfinch: I'm painting a goldfinch year, and this time I have skipped the sketching phase. As I think by now you've probably know what this looks like. And I'm skipping directly to the painting phase. And as you can see, I'm starting with the red markings around the eye and around the throat of the bird. And I do this because I don't have any base color that I need to lay down first before I start on working on these smaller details. And now I'm adding my raw sienna, which is this lovely golden color that's on the shoulders and around the breast a little bit. And on the wing, you can see I'm using a big brush. I'm keeping this quiet lose, and I don't want to noodle as much on on this sketch as on some of the others that you have seen in this video series. So I'm returning to the head area and the red parts left right, So now I can start to add of the the eye and the eye ring the iris with the stock color, this neutral gray and in small strokes, I'm adding, but by bid the the black around the neck and I'm also adding in the shadow on the beak. So this bird has quite the light beak. But it is still a few shadow areas and I want to to drop that in right from the beginning, you can see I'm already refining the dark parts, some really pushing the contrast here. And this is a good thing because I can compare this part with the other parts and then check later if I need to adjust the contrast so I can see immediately from that area if I need to darken another area. So I see that the neck definitely has to get a bit darker here. And basically I jump around in different areas off the bird because I want certain areas to dry before work on them. So now that the black part on the wings has dried, I can go in there with lemon yellow and work on on the neighboring areas. This really intense patch off, you know, and I have mixed a bid off my red. So this for 1,000,000 red Just a touch to my raw sienna. And this is the color that I use for for the leg on the legs, and then the claws are slightly darker. I'm adding in with this darker color, the use Scalea structures in in the legs they can see. I'm adding a bit off paint to the big area, so this is diluted gray, and I'm spreading, adding sort of texture, adding a bit of feather texture to the white parts off the bird. And this helps me to to make thes part register as, um, feathers as fluffy nous instead of just white paper. And when you're painting areas like this, it's important not to fill everything with with brush strokes but to leave white areas as well. So now the yellow and the golden parts off the wing, half dried, and I can go back in with my grey and add the black parts off the wing, and I try to keep the details that I sketched an earlier intact. So I paint around the white parts off the wing, and I try to keep darker and lighter parts and the wings apart from each other so that I can identify them. And I'm turning around the paper here a few times, which can come really an handy when you notice that you are are in an awkward angle with your brush. Or if you have reached the end off the paper and can't arrest your hand, then it's definitely a great idea to turn a paper in in a direction that you feel more comfortable with when you're painting. So I'm slowly building up. The darker colors are dropping in more paint, and I'm returning to the areas off the wing that I have already painted, and I make them darker and refine them. And I also add information about how these feathers are stacked upon each other. I'm adding another layer off raw sienna to docking the shoulder area, and with a bit of water, I'm smoothing out some off the more pronounced regions. I'm also adding raw sienna over the feet, and I'm going over the clause once more to make them a little bit darker. And here I am, refining the dark parts around the face. I'm still using my big brush my size eight brush, so this is a fairly large sketch off this bird, So these are finches, and here you can see, I'm adding a bit of a dark shadow to indicate where the wing starts, and to me, the sketch looks almost finished at this face, so everything from now on is basically noodling in details or cosmetics. I'm using whitewash to refine the white markings on the wings a bit more also in the neck where there's a not white area, and none of this is really necessary. So I think the bird reads as a goldfinch by now, but it can be really nice to add a few details as the last stage. So a few highlights run the I am the Beak and that's it for this sketch. 18. Bonus: Painting a woodpecker: this time I'm sketching a great spotted woodpecker, and as always, I'm starting with a night pencil sketch. So I'm trying to include a few off the details that I can see on the wing patterns here so that I don't have a hard time later when I want to paint these details and now I'm erasing everything and I do this in order to tighten up my sketch a little bit more. So when I start, I usually, um, have more lines on top of each other because I'm searching for the form and for the shape. And I like to sometimes on tighten up the sketch and clear these lines so that it will make for a much clearer drawing. And here other colors that I'll be using for this one so connected on red, neutral gray than thes two brown, so raw umber and CPR and a little bit off white. I didn't show that, so I'm starting with the correct room red, and I'm actually mixing in a little bit off burnt sienna to take away this really so correct Around Red is really like a cherry red tone and out of a flying of lose brushstrokes the color to all of the places where I can see it, and particularly in this area here, I'm trying to make sure that the brush strokes are loose enough so that they indicate these lose fluffy feathers. Here I'm mixing my raw umber with a little bit off white to get this cool, light brown tone that I will spread around on the breast and the belly off the bird again. In these loose brush strokes, you can see the wide adds a little bit off a pass iti to the paint. I'm using my neutral gray. You could easily use another dark tone like Payne's gray or black, and I'm starting to pain in the eye. As you know, I always like to start with the I, and then I'm adding all the other areas that are dark, and there are a lot off interesting patterns on this bird, so you have to pay a little bit attention. He arrived mixed from the grey with a little bit off this cool light brown mixture for the beak and the area around the eye, and I'm using this for areas that are dark but not that dark and also in a diluted version for shadow areas. Later, you can see I'm working from top to bottom with these dark areas slowly painting in all of the the doc areas off the bird, trying to keep my brush. Strokes really lose, and quick can always refined them later. And since this bird has quite the complicated pattern on his wings, I'm taking my pencil and I'm drawing in the areas where right that I need to leave in white . So would pick us have thes wide wing bands that you can see on the on the wings, and I'm taking precautions here so that I don't over paint them. It's always easier to leave things white from the beginning. You could also go back with what wash, but in this case, I thought it would be easier to to leave these parts unpainted. On the same is true for the tail. So now also peace. These bands thes white bends and I'm going over the dark areas for a second time, again indicating with my brush strokes. Thes are feathers are not just dark spots on the bird. You can see I'm diluting my darks a little bit to texture the white areas off the wing a bit more, adding a little bit off raw. I'm Oh, maybe this CP. I don't remember. I think it was CPR for the toes. In the end, thes two colors are really similar, and here I'm adding a darker gray for for the toenails. And now it's time to add more shadows, more detail, so little bit around the face and really finding the beak. And I'm also returning to the breast area. When working on the beach, you have to be really careful not to make it bigger and bigger. This is often what happens to me when I'm using such a big brush. So usually I end up enlarging the beak from my sketch when I'm over painting the edges, so to speak, and so this something to watch out for. I think it happened here a little bit, but it's okay. It's a sketch. So now I'm taking my fountain pen and I'm adding a little bit off the wooden block or the branch that the woodpecker is sitting on. And I often do this in my sketches so I don't take attention away from the bird and, um but also I want to have him sitting on something, but I don't want to take the attention away from him entirely. 19. Bonus: Painting a barn owl: so I want to paint a barn old today. I'm starting with some loose sketches in my sketchbook. First to explore the birds different poses, and I also do a more detailed watercolor painting. Later, I'm sketching with colored pencil on drawing paper. This gives me a very smooth line. I quickly draw the main shapes off the bird and a few features and then move on to the next pills. And here you can see you can get a really good contrast with ease pencils, So I use that for the area around the eye. Also, spend a little bit of time on the heart shaped face and on the wings When im sketching. I usually don't pay much attention to the crease in the middle of the sketchbook, so I just draw over this as good as I can again, I'm starting with rough shapes here and then draw in a few key areas, always refining my line as I'm going. And I don't worry about overlapping lines at this point because it's really just sketch to get me started. I work from a photo reference year, so that allows me to watch closely how the feathers are arranged on the wing, and and this is something that would be a little bit more difficult when I would be sketching from life. And once I'm finished with the outline and the basic shapes, I look for areas that need a little bit more contrast on this, usually around the eye, Uh, and the face and I do a few more off these quick sketches to fill my page. So ban elves have this really interesting face area where you can see the big eyes and then sometimes just a little bit off the beak that's hidden under the feathers. I'm getting out my water colors to add a bit of color to these studies, and since this is drawing paper, I can't do a lot off layering. But I don't want to do that. I just want to get a feeling of how the colors addressed to be distributed on the birds. So I'm painting very light washes here and Ban El's have soft, earthy colors and a lot of white on them, some using mixtures off half titanium raw sienna, burnt sienna on drama and a bit of Payne's gray. For more neutral terms, I add in the dark off the eyes fairly at the beginning. Andi, I'm dotting in the red areas on the wings with burnt sienna, and while the paint is wet, I'm adding a bit off raw amber, and you can see this really soft and light, exploring different kinds of color combinations on the different birds to see where I want to take my illustration later in in terms of color. And the second bird gets a bit more off the yellowish raw sienna. I really liked this combination so far. I also add a few shadowy details around the head to indicate the discs around the eyes that make up this heart shaped face. I will have really big eyes for the size off their head, and I've read that if they were humans, their eyes would be the size off oranges. So this this gives you an idea off. What formidable hunters with acute senses they are. For the third hour, I at more burnt Sienna and Ross Yannis who the owl's feathers end up more reddish and yellowish, a little bit more colorful than on the other two. And, um, you can see I add a few like details around the face first. And then I go in with the dark comics to indicate the markings on the wings and the tail. And also again, I add a dark contrast around the eye on the face. - I really like these colors. And then I decided that my first house look a bit tail, so I go over them again with a little bit off burnt Sienna for my illustration, I have done another, more accurate drawing that I transferred toe watercolor paper with a light box. I'm working with a new paper here that's bitter rough for my taste. So you will see me struggling in a few places throughout the painting process. And, um so this is cold pressed 100% cotton paper that, um, I haven't painted on it before, and sometimes it's a little bit off a struggle to get to know a paper, so this doesn't mean it's bad paper. It just means I'm not accustomed to it, are starting by adding very loose washes with a light mix off buff titanium and drama almost a light gray, and I'm dropping in the color with a lot off water, spreading the paint around and adding more pigment. Where I can see darker spots on the wing also indicates some off the secondary feathers with loose long strokes. While the paint is still wet. I drop in raw sienna and burnt sienna in a few places in the higher concentration, - while the other layers are still wet. I'm adding the markings for the tail first, So before I apply another painting, you could do this the other way around. It's usually safer to add darker details on top if you don't know how the paper will react because sometimes glazing over a layer were muddy it slightly and I'm adding the eyes with a very dark gray and with a bit off a lighter mixture. I at the fine feathers around the face with rosiana and raw amber face area were always benefit from the most details on the painting. I'm using the tip off the barrage to add strokes in the direction that the feathers are arranged on the bird and this will give the head more roundness and dimensionality. - I add another layer on the wings with docker pain, and you can see the 1st 1 still hasn't completely dry. I ended up over working this area a little bit, but I still want to show you how I made it. But better in the end, with a few techniques that I will show at this point, I want to add more color and contrast to the areas that I've already painted so paint with a less diluted color directly into these areas. And I also add the little stump the owl is sitting on in a dog green and really find the claws and the eyes a little bit more. I add more light strokes to the breast area. You can see I'm leaving a lot off white here. The bottle has a white breast with a bit off light brown, and I want to show that and retain the fluffy nous off the area. Yeah, I'm heading back the dark detail in the tail area that was lost when I painted over it. I'm also adding more detail on more contrast on the wings heading in these markings. So most birds of prey have really interesting markings that are quite detailed. And I'm trying to keep them loose here and this illustration. So I'm not noodling in every little feather that I can see, but I'm still trying to give an accurate account off the kind of markings that that I see on the bird. I'm using a light gray color pencil to give the claws of most gaily look here, and I'm working the pencil onto the still wet paint, so I'm actually scratching into the paint a little bit. And then I let the wing area thoroughly dry and applied another dark layer to show a bit more off the feather pattern. You can see this honor neath the color pencil that I apply here. So this is a CPR color pencil and I add more details and these dark speckles on the wings and also really find a few areas like the claws. And here you can see more off the speckles. So we have arrived at the detail level off the illustration, and then I'm adding the light part off thes speckles with whitewash and also add a little bit more texture on the claws and on the wing with the what quash 20. Bonus: Painting a goshawk: In this video, I'm painting a Gauss hawk in watercolor. Birds of prey are bit different to draw than songbirds. Their eyes are large and set forward, and often they have a bony ridge above the eyes that gives them more sharp and menacing Look. Another thing to watch out for are the bills they use, usually the small and sharp hooks over all, these birds are a little bit more bulky and often very angular looking. They tend to have feathered legs like you can see here and also quite intricate and interesting patterns on the breast. For this painting, I am starting with some shadow accents and a CPR and raw amber mix family, finding the dark creases in the feathers and trying to giving to give volume to the shapes on the body. I'm also indicating lose feathers in a few places. You can see this on the tail. I'm using the same mixture to add a later shadow area on the belly that's and shadow. And at this stage, my washes are still very loose and light. So nothing is definite that there's this fear about water colors, with many beginning painters that you can't correct mistakes, And I have to say I find it's actually a very forgiving medium. You can make a lot of changes and change a lot off what's happening on the paper so you can do this either by soaking up pained with your brush or adding opaque paint layers with wash later. And I will actually show this later in the painting. So there's really no reason to be afraid off laying down pained when when you're doing watercolors. So he I'm adding a light yellow for the toes and around the iris and the beak, so I'm using a very big round brush. This is a size eight to keep me from noodling in too many details, although this brush comes to a very fine point. I found that using a bigger brush when you start will keep you from focusing on details right away, since, after all, in the markings on the breast off the Gauss Hawk, and I don't want to lose them. When I add more paint layers later, I paint in those dark patterns. Now, some birds of prey have very intricate patterns, but since I don't want to make a scientific drawing, I keep them fairly lose. I paint the patterns around the bird, so I'm following the form with my brush strokes, and this work helped to give the body more three dimensionality. The markings get smaller and lighter below the breast and on the legs. And as I've painted everything in, I've noticed that some off the pattern looks to light, and I go back with a darker mix of Payne's Gray and CBS who really find some off the pattern on the rest. I also add in the dark on the bill and the rich around the eye. The dark area on the head has some light falling on it from the right, so I keep that a bit lighter. I paint in the dark areas on the back and at more dark spots on the head, and I also add in the claws. And this is a really dark makes again off CPR and pains Grace. I'm not using very many colors in this sketch for this painting. I leave the branch that the Gauss Hawks it's on in pencil, and I think this gives a nice contrast, and it shows what parts of the study I find important and the branch is not so important, so I just leave it like that. So once the darker areas off the bag a dry, I add another layer. And this is how I like to work with watercolor. So, um, what kind of pain tends to dry a lot lighter, then it appears that when it's wet, so to achieve a good dimensional effect, you will have to apply several layers on top of each other. I am focused a little bit more on the wing patterns and on the feathers right now. So just to show that thou overlapping feathers, I still try to keep it fairly loose and not. I'm not trying to enter the noodle territory. And as I'm going over each layer, I use a less diluted version off the color that I painted in earlier. So my paint is becoming thicker and thicker, so to speak, and this way I can build up color and build up my painting. At one point here, my big brush sort off ruins the beak shape you can see there's this little ah edge to it now, so I will have to fix this later with a bit off wash wide, it's completely okay. Yes, you can see I try to really find it, but I think I have actually made it worse. And you know, this kind of stuff happens when you pained, so that's absolutely no issue now. I switched to a small brush for the details and the 1st 1st thing. I add our white accents with quash so mainly around the head. I also add a little bit off why to the legs and then, ah, some white dots on the claws to make them appear shiny. And Scalea and I also had a bit off highlight to the eye, and you can see I also used the wash to modify the color off the iris a bit. - To be honest, the sketch is technically finished at this point, so I'm not adding any crucial information. But these last Tuchel's can help to make the feather re texture read a little bit better, and I think it gives more visual interest to a painting. - I'm finally correcting the beak shape, and this looks much better. Usually making the beak too large happens to me in the drawing stage, and I have to check and double check to make sure that it's small enough because actually, thes reptile beaks are not really that large. But this time I'm afraid it was my large brush, just defining a little bit more around the eye, which is always good.