Hummingbird: Watercolor Workout | Anna Bucciarelli | Skillshare

Playback Speed

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

Hummingbird: Watercolor Workout

teacher avatar Anna Bucciarelli, Professional Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Color Palette

    • 4. Process Overview & Technique Refresh

    • 5. Hummingbird Outline

    • 6. Step 1 - Background Layer

    • 7. Step 2 - Definition Layer

    • 8. Step 3 - Accent Layer

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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

Community Generated

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





About This Class

Have you ever wanted to create a realistic colorful hummingbird using watercolors? Learn how to paint a gorgeous Ruby-throated Hummingbird step-by-step and improve your watercolor technique in this easy and actionable class.

This watercolor class is designed as a real-time painting “workout” fit for every artist who’s ever felt intimidated by highly detailed realistic subject matter. From creating an accurate bird outline to mastering shimmering feather details, you'll learn how tackle any hummingbird with confidence and nuance! Key lessons include:

1. Drawing a bird accurately using simple shapes;

2. Selecting your colors with an eye for highly vibrant and realistic look; and most importantly:

3. Understanding watercolor painting as a series of layers - from background to details:

  • when to use wet-onset vs wet-on-dry
  • what brushes to use for each layer
  • what strokes to use for each layer

Class materials and handouts include: "Supplies and Color Palette Ideas", reference painting, and a black & white outline. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced artist looking for a new element to add to you visual “vocabulary”, you will enjoy this watercolor workout and will come away full of colorful ideas for creating nature-inspired art with ease.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Anna Bucciarelli

Professional Illustrator



Hello and welcome to my Skillshare channel! My name is Anna, I am a Canadian money designer,  and illustrator of all things intricate and beautiful. You may have seen my art on Canadian silver dollar coins, Starbucks holiday cups, or the streets of Toronto. My painting style is influenced by the decorative tradition of “Petrykivka” painting – an Eastern European art focusing on floral and plant motifs.

I teach advanced watercolor and gouache here on SkillShare. You can also find lots of painting resources on my YouTube channel, visit my website or follow me on Instagram @anna.m.bucciarelli if you want to learn more about my work or simply say Hello!


See full profile

Class Ratings

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

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

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

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


1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my skill share channel. My name's Anna Viterelli. I am a professional illustrator from Canada. I exhibit and license my work all around the world, and my classes are all about vibrant, colorful watercolor paintings that bring you joy from the moment you pick up the brush. I specialize in botanical and decorative art, So if you love painting flowers, animals and birds, and you want to improve your water color skills and become a real pro, what painting all kinds of beautiful nature inspired things. You're in the right place today. We're going to paint a hummingbird. It's a perfect little creature that will look great in any flower painting you make. It also looks good as a standalone peas and works fantastic for surface design and fabric patterns. And once you go through the lesson with me, it will really become a part of your visual vocabulary. So you get incorporated into your larger, complex painting projects. We'll start by drawing the hummingbird. Using various simple shapes is even if you're not very comfortable with your drawing skills , this will simplify the process for you, and you can start during hummingbirds in different flight positions easily. Even if you don't have a good reference photo, we'll talk about the materials you need, and the colors you can pick will do. A quick grief fresh of two different watercolor techniques wet on wet and wet and dry. And you can try a few simple exercises to get yourself comfortable. And most importantly, we will break down the painting process into layers. So you really understand how to build your beautiful hummingbird from the background color and all the way to those lovely details and colorful feathers. We'll paint in real time. Start to finish, and you can follow my every brush stroke. Those who will follow you on Instagram have been asking for this type of format for a while , so I'm happy to deliver. It will be really time, real slow, like my previous painting classes, where we did really detailed and complex flower compositions with lots of theory, lots of different techniques. This class is really easy to get into. Even if you're a beginner, it will take you no more than an hour to finish your class project. So treat this class as a really good watercolor workout that will keep you motivated and inspired. And if you have any questions, you can reach out to me through the sculpture website just by posting a question in the class discussion section. Don't forget to follow me on skill share on Instagram or YouTube to stay up to date about my upcoming classes and let's paint a beautiful hummingbird together thanks. 2. Supplies: hi guys, and welcome to the class. I'm going to take you through our list of supplies, and it's gonna be really brief because our workout is going to be very easy and straightforward. So first thing you need is good paper. So go for a professional watercolor paper, if you can. I'm using this stone hinge cold pressed paper. I'm using a cold press because I like the texture. It really holds the water and allows you to do a lot of wet on wet washes. But you can also try caught press paper. It will dry a lot faster, but as long as the weight of the papers £140 or higher, it will work just fine. For this entire workout, I'm using just one brush. It's a kolinsky sable brush, and the reason why I love these is because they're super versatile eso for your larger areas of color. When you're doing wet on wet technique, they hold a lot of water and you can use this brush and then also use the same brush as you switch to more finer details because they have a really nice tip. That sort of allows you to make those tiny, tiny details. If you don't have a natural kolinsky sable brush, it's not a big deal. You just need to different brushes that are synthetic, and one will be like a bigger size for your first wash, where we're going to color large areas and then you need something like this, and size zero or one can also go with double zero for tiny detail. So these air synthetic sable brushes that I'm holding. If you prefer squirrel brushes, those work well so you can use a squirrel brush. And I have this one in size four for larger areas, and you'll need something much smaller, like size one or zero for tiny details. You'll need a pencil and just tried to make sure it's a hard pencil, so you don't leave a lot of marks on paper. When you need to raise something, you can also use watercolor pencils. I know that some of my students have been using those, and they actually dissolved for the most part. Once you start covering the area with water, you can use water pencils. You need an eraser and some water, and me the, uh, just a bit of tissue you can use it to remove excess water from your brush as you paint. And finally, a pilot. I love these horsemen palettes, but really any white palette to and now we're gonna talk about the colors. 3. Color Palette: before we talk about the specific colors we need, I want to quickly go over a few key principles related to the color palette. First, we will try to recycle our colors. This will make the overall look more harmonious. What I mean by that is we will occasionally take the colors from one area of the bird and use them in other areas. So you will see this as I start painting, especially on the belly feathers, because the belly is practically white and it will reflect a lot of other colors. Second principle is, for each color section will pick two or better, even three or four colors within the same range. After all, it's a watercolor war code. And so feel free to try as many colors as you want, and we will use these to show highlights mid tones shadows within the same color family. This will also help us achieve a shimmering effect because the feathers air super smooth so they tend to reflect all sorts of light in college. And finally, please feel free to use the colors that you already have and already love. You don't need to have the specific brands or pigments that I use. There are so many fantastic watercolor brands out there, and you might have your old favorites already. So as long as you pick similar colors from your own collection and keep following the layers exactly how I show you, I promise you will be happy with the result. What I find super super useful when I recommended to anyone was testing colors and building a palette is using a dot chart, so essentially you get a full range of colors from your favorite brand for price of one tube. I used Daniel Smith here, and you get to try them all and pick the ones you love and then invest in the ones that you really, really like. So it's awesome and the best $20 you'll ever spend. Now let's talk about those pigments. This ruby throated bird is so small but full of gorgeous, colorful feathers, so let's break it down into different areas and talk about your options for each color area . I will keep the section that I'm referring to highlighted, and I will diss saturate the rest so it's easier for you to see. So for the wings, at minimum, you will need a nice warm brown and a purple, especially for the back wing and the shadows. You can also add a bit of violet, my color choices here. Apparel and violet permanent brown from Daniel Smith and axes and purple from poor. A bird is called ruby throated hummingbird for a reason. So we need some nice, vibrant reds to make up the trim oring ruby color. So I use parole orange, Oprah, pink pro crimson from Daniel Smith. I know that I will be blending it with purple from the beak once I start painting so that that darker part right underneath the beak is visibly connected. You can also use other warm reds, and we're in just here. You can even use a quarrel or something darker like a Bordeaux. Our largest area of color is the back. We need lots of different options here to create the shimmering effect for your highlights , which is where the sun hits the green feathers. I would go with the warm yellow from mid tones. Just use your basic green like I'm using permanent green here for your darkest green, which is also what you will use to. I'll find the feathers in the final stage, I would go with something like sap green deep. I've also abusing a lot of hooker screen. You can also use another bright green that will really help you boost the colors. So the one I'm using is called tallow green yellow shape. You may also want to add a drop of blue just on top of the bird's head. For our tail will need to colors very dark blue and amusing into Go and one of the greens that you've already used to help plan the tail into the body. I'll be using Hooper's for legs I and the beak. We want to achieve a really dark color here, so, um, you can use black. It's totally okay. I personally avoid using black when painting natural subjects because black simply doesn't exist as a color in nature. Um, and so to make it look more realistic, I recommend recycling and mixing colors from other parts of the painting so you can use your violets or browse and purples and also your dark blue. The belly is almost all white, and it will reflect color from other areas like wings and sides, so I will use a very light wash off transparent parole orange you can use like a warm brown or really light orange and at all sorts of other colors from other sections. The key here is to keep you're layers super light, and that's about it. You can download the handout with a quick summary of your color choices and options in the class. Resource is section right here on the scale share website mm. 4. Process Overview & Technique Refresh: section is very important, probably the most important, because I want to help you see how you can accomplish what you're sick to death. So this is a good moment to pause and look at your subject and how you plan to approach it as a series of layers from a very soft background color with almost no details a very detailed layer where we will use our darkest, most pigmented colors. Now this may be a big shift in the way you use watercolor, because if you're like me, you may want to work on those gorgeous feathers like right away. But we have to be patient and avoid putting in too much work too soon. So what you want to do is start with your big color washes and then naturally progressed to more finer details. In terms of the technique, we will use wet on wet for our first layer. This is a basic watercolor technique, which means you wet the area you're going to paint first and very quickly. Add your colors to the wet area before it's all dry, kind of mix the colors directly on the paper and let them blend so you can see it on the left. In our first background layer, feel free to use your larger brush here like size three or four the next two layers. We will use a much finer brush or just the tip of the brush. If you're using the same sable brushes the one used in the first place, and we will only use the wet on dry to seek meaning. We will be applying colors with a wet brush on top of the layer that's completely dry. It's a lot more controlled way of painting, and you will be able to make those rounded strokes toe out. Find the feathers without your colors spreading all over the place. So let's do this and let's start by really naming your background layer and you will be able to do all those lovely details in the end, and it will look awesome. 5. Hummingbird Outline: Now let's talk about the outline of our bird. You can either download a black and white outline from the glass Resource is, and then proceed straight to the coloring stage. Or you can stay with me for two minutes and I will show you how I draw hummingbirds. So hummingbirds are actually super easy to draw. If you think about them as a Siris of simple shapes, you start with three interlocking ovals, a small one for the head and then a larger, elongated circle for our body and then another small Elon gated circle here for your tail. It's kind of squished. This last one is really almost flat, and it should sit almost entirely inside the bigger circles, sticking out just a bit. Now you can connect the circles, and you can see the shape of the bird emerge. Now at a beak. First is a straight line, then make it sicker and add a bit of a curve here and then the I. Now it's time to add the tail feathers. Just draw a few straight lines, all leading up to this area where the circles connect and then make each further just like that and Now let's do the wings. You can imagine them sort of as a Siris of triangles going up starting right here, and they follow the layers of feathers. Once you have the basic shape, you can define the inner feathers and the outer feathers and maybe some feathers on the back to and now we'll do those long top feathers. Start by drawing straight lines. You need about a dozen of them going up from the back to the top of the wing. And now add rounded tips to make sure the wings overlap just like this. - Okay , And to wrap this up only if you feel like it, you can add feed here at the bomb, - so that's it before you start painting. It's a good idea to separate different areas of color visually, so you will want to also outline the red throat here and maybe out of you further details where you know you need to work with your brush to add some definition, and that's it. We're ready to start painting 6. Step 1 - Background Layer: 7. Step 2 - Definition Layer: 8. Step 3 - Accent Layer: 9. Final Thoughts: All right, guys are workout is done. Congratulations. I hope you had a lot of fun. Don't forget to post your projects your beautiful hummingbirds and right here on the scale share website. If you have any questions whatsoever, you can reach out to me by posting a discussion in the community discussion section of this class. You can also reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook. You can also follow me on YouTube where I post really long time lapse is very complex watercolor compositions if you're interested in that type of thing. And if you really like the class, please follow me. Let's go Share. And you would be the first to know when I post my next. Thank you so much. Guys. I hope you enjoy this workout. And if you want to see more of this type of format, let me know in the class review what sorts of subjects he wanted to paint. What colors you want me to test? I'm always grateful for your feedback as it helps me become a better teacher and come up with better content for you. Thanks, guys. And have an awesome time