Painting a Watercolor Eastern Wood Peewee | Joy Neasley | Skillshare

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Painting a Watercolor Eastern Wood Peewee

teacher avatar Joy Neasley, Watercolor Wildlife & Nature Artist

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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

11 Lessons (2h 5m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. The Underpainting

    • 4. The Foundational Layer

    • 5. Building Layers Part 1

    • 6. Building Layers Part 2

    • 7. Building Layers Part 3

    • 8. Overlaying Water Wash

    • 9. Final Layer

    • 10. Layering Black and Adding Details

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

Hello, and welcome.  I just love these little birds, the Eastern Wood Peewee,  During the summer I would hear an interesting sound that I could not identify for several weeks.  Finally this little bird flew closer to the house, landing on a branch, and made the slurred "pee-a-wee" sound I had heard.  It was an Eastern Wood Peewee.  

This class is perfect for the beginner through the intermediate learner.  However, I do recommend know the very basics of watercolor techniques and color mixing before beginning this class.  

During the class we will paint one of these little guys sitting atop a light post waiting for his insect dinner.  I am including a few reference images of the eastern wood peewee and the light post in the project/reference section of this class.  I am also including a rough sketch to make getting the image onto your paper easier.  You are welcome to try it on your own and even try your own composition if you would like.  One last image included with this class is the name of the colors in my watercolor palette.  

Watch the supplies video, gather your things and a cup of tea/coffee, and let's get started!  I'm excited to get going.


  • Introduction
  • Supplies
  • The Under-painting
  • The Foundation Layer
  • Building Layers Part 1
  • Building Layers Part 2
  • Building Layers Part 3
  • Overlaying Water Wash
  • Layering Black and Adding Details
  • Final Layer
  • Conclusion 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joy Neasley

Watercolor Wildlife & Nature Artist


Watercolor Wildlife and Nature Artist (full-time), and photographer (part-time).


 Currently based out of Tennessee, Joy Neasley is a watercolor artist specializing in Tennessee wildlife and nature.  She enjoys painting in the outdoor natural sunlight with a small pallette of quality watercolor paints, white gouache, and 100% cotton, archival HP watercolor paper.  

     Many ask if she has painted all her life.  The answer is no.  Born in East Texas, as a teenager Joy would often disappear to a nearby farm field to read, write, and draw.  By the time she was 19, Joy let drawing take a backseat to motherhood and family life.  It was not until 2009 that she began drawing again.  From 2009 she focused on... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to my class today we're going to paint an eastern would pee wee, and to do this will be using watercolor and tips and tricks is to how to do it along the way, especially mixing blacks for the lamppost. Post a video of the project here at the end of this introduction For you to see my name is Joy measly. I'm a wildlife and watercolor artist. I love to paint Tennessee wildlife here because it's wildlife I can observe before I paint it. Now do do other work on commissions, but Tennessee wildlife is my specialty. And as you can see, we have some woods back here where the Eastern would pee wee loves toe hang out. So let's get started with our painting process. Follow along with me. If you have any questions, send me messages in the discussion section or mess a message me through one of my other social media lengths. I'll see in a few minutes getting ready to collect our supplies 2. Supplies: for this class. We have a few mainly use basic supplies for watercolor painting, similar to the other classes I've taught. I always start with a hot press. 100% cotton watercolor paper. This is stone hinge. I like the 1 £40 that seems to work the best for me. It doesn't buckle as much. I'll include a snapshot of the colors I use available the only one? Well, no, I have added it. Burnt Sienna. So everything's on here. I'll include this. Ah, in the references, if you wanna look. A few of these colors do not years, so eventually I will be changing this. You'll see here I use Windsor and Newton. Watercolor paints the professional grade. If you're just starting out, though, start out with the water. Ah, Windsor Newton watercolor Scotsman Siri's. It's a student grade quality, and it's excellent quality for, um, a student of practice. What you don't want to skip on, though, would be the paper. You do need 100% cotton paper to achieve good results. When you use a paper that's cheaper, it has a coating on it, and it's ah, a lot more difficult to use. The water color doesn't soak in a swell. So do you recommend if you're going to spend money on something. The papers part to do it in hot press is my favorite. That means it's very smooth texture to the paper. We also have the glass any kind of glass for water you can use to glasses. A lot of people prefer to have clean water to paint with and use one glass for dirty water . I rinse it out when I want to do my water washes a wash cloth or paper towel of some type for brushes. I use fairly inexpensive brushes. Um, that have a large, flat brush, as you can see here, I have a I believe this is a number six angled brush. Flat brush. Yeah, these are the ones I've used in this painting. Have a quadruple zero brush, a triple zero brush number two flat brush, a small uh, where they call these fan brushes. And a What is this when I believe it's the rigor and it's a medium size rigor, There you go. I like these because of the longer end on them. It makes the natural looking feathers more so than these smaller ends until you get down to the last details. Aside from that, you might want a pencil. You want a softy racer that won't tell your paper to draw your, uh, image on? Okay, I believe that's everything. I have a computer for my reference This particular, um, project. I combined a lot of reference photos and research to come up with this image because it was a commission piece and it needed to be exactly what the client wanted. So she sent me a photo off the light in her yard. She wanted the peewee to be sitting on. So I used that included that in this I'm going to see what other images I can include with this lesson for you to view. But know that the actual bird I put on there I sketched out myself. I am including the sketch, the under sketch, so that you can use that to paint your eastern would Pee wee 3. The Underpainting: Let's get started by a lightly sketching your image on your watercolor paper. We're going to start with an under painting. I don't always do that on my paintings. However, this one I didn't quite having this bird clearly in my head. And I thought the under painting would help me establish that the word make it easier to Pancks. And you need a clear vision when you, uh, start to paint, especially if you're using very few watercolor lines. I have a few more in this one than I like the pencil lines on me. Um and the reason why I used the least I have to is because you don't want these lines to show into the painting. And you don't want to accidentally create intentions with your pencil that show up in the painting also when you're finished. However, like I said with this when I was having trouble getting a clear vision in my head, even with my reference photos, So I wanted to make sure that I had that before I started painting. So I'm creating an under painting which is basically sketching out the bird with watercolor and a very fine detail brush here I'm using. I'm going back and forth between a quadruple zero and a triple zero brush. You see, I'm starting with the face. I usually always start with the area that will be the focus of the painting, and in this case that's the I because this is an animal, a bird, and the face is what we want to draw the attention first. Justice. When you take a camera, you want to focus the eyes. That's where you see people view that as seeing into the soul or into the spirit of the animal or the person. So that's where we want to look first. But I'm just basically using a very watered down black. A lot of people use sepia for this. However, This bird is more of a grey brown than it is a darker, Brown said. I want to go to dark with it. So I did my black mixture, which is Tate was taking one of my blues, one of the darker ones and taking my scarlet like the red and mixing it with. I believe it's burn number, and I mixed those together until I'm happy with what I'm looking at now. Just keep adding more of each color. If it's a little too brown or reddish at a little more blue, it's a little too purplish red or blue at a little more burn number. And I always just add a touch of the scarlet like for some reason that when one requires a slight touch. So I'm gonna let you follow along with me here. If you've sketched your painting out on your watercolor paper, then basically, you're just going over these lines. I did lighten them with Softy Racer. I use a I should have mentioned this in the supplies I use a little Clicky Racer made about Penn. Tell the eraser on it is very soft and doesn't damage my paper. Um, basically, just try some different races until you find one that you like, and I've lightened those lines up. Now I'm going over them with the diluted black. So you're getting more of a great here and on the stomach. I want to make sure it's a very light grey because that was, uh, that area is going to be white. You notice I am trying to leave the white areas white here. I don't want a lot of great in them, even though we're using White Wash to cover that up and to create texture for the feathers . Whitewash is opaque. However, you can see the underlying color underlying colors behind it. When I deluded to use it because I dilute my white wash. So and that is something else in the supplies I should have mentioned. Whitewash. No, you do not have to use it. You can ought to leave the white areas white, which is a more traditional watercolor method. I've learned to paint on my own after I had a couple strokes is, uh, part of the rehab for the strokes. And when I learned to paint, I just grab some watercolor paints. They weren't even quality water colors. I think they were van Gogh student quality. They were cheap. There were what I found at the time at the local near Best store, and I just went to town mixing colors and playing with it. Um, I wanted to get into Once I got better at it. I wanted to get into ah, botanical painting. However, I seem to do much better with the wildlife, and I love sitting and watching the wildlife I still do a little botanicals. Um, but honestly, my favorite is the wildlife that I get to watch in our parks and our trails. Uh, here in Tennessee, we have greenways and lots of trails, lots of outdoor activities. We have mountains and valleys and grasslands and caves. We have pretty much a little of everything. And we also have all four seasons here, temperature wise. So it creates a nice variety of wildlife that comes through here at the different seasons. And I love to just sit and watch them, especially with my camera, and take pictures which are usually not good enough to sell. However, they are good enough to pick from. So continue this, uh, and just take your time with it. Enjoy the process, and I'll see you when we get ready to start the next layer. Make sure you let this dry completely before we move on to the next lesson. It needs to be towards not cool to the touch. Sometimes watercolor look drive, but it's not if it's still cold to the touch. Um, some people also I want to mention use blow dryers. I don't I like the color and the vibrancy better if I do not use a blow dryer. Also, sometimes I want areas to dry a little water for the effect. Um, the blow dryer doesn't work well with that. Now, if you want to use one, give it a try. You could compare the differences and come to your own conclusion. Art is about the process and the journey. So it's what you enjoy. So I'll see you in a few minutes when we moved to the next lesson. 4. The Foundational Layer: I've started here, but adding a light yellow color. I believe in this case. I used a Windsor yellow or lemon yellow either one of those air. Good. If you don't have those in a yellow, that's light would work. Um, just tryingto add a little bit. Stick it color on the paper. This first layer is basically just mapping out. We don't have to do the usual darks and highlight. So instead, I'm just working with the highlights here. I'm getting paint on the paper so that we build up texture. We can build up depth and vibrancy in the painting. So I call this the ugly duckling stage of the painting. Because all the hues and tonal values air off in these first few layers, the painting gets to about 70 75% finished before. In my opinion, it leaves the ugly duckling stage. So if you're not liking your painting as you're going pushed through, uh, almost guarantee the further you go, you're gonna be happy with it as we get going. If you notice here, I'm painting lightly and I'm painting in the direction of the feathers and the way they're laying. I'm adding white wash at the moment a very diluted white wash to start building that up. The white Wash is I love it because it does help with texture when it comes to for and with feathers. It works really great. Also. It helps with the right on the lamp below the bird to get a little bit more of a realistic texture. Even though I want that limp Premier Li black and in the areas where it's highlighted gray , I still want that texture and by adding quite a bit of the white wash mixed in with my black mixture. When I get going, that will help a lot. So I'm using quite a few reference photos here. I couldn't find the exact reference photo I wanted. I've taken photos of this bird, but they didn't come out clear enough to show you I knew it because I observed the birds. I watched it play on the branches and catch the insects. Eastern would pee wee's or flycatchers. So the land on branch or, in this case, a lamp post a light post and they will search for insects. And now, uh, running nab one and come right back to the same spot. So if we call that Sal ing back and forth So if you, uh, want a photograph, these birds are observing for yourself. You want to look in a woodland area? Uh, in this case, we're not too far from a river. We're not on the river, but we're not too far from it. And it's wooded. They stay up higher in the trees, you'll hear their pia, We sound, um, you can go online. Just check the internet for the sound of the Eastern would pee wee. Because you're gonna hear that before you see it. And then keep watch on the areas that you hear them. You were quite a few of them, usually during the summer. They tend to fly south down to South America for the winter. But up here in the United States, you'll see them during the summer. You'll see me here. I'm adding a little bit of white wash because there's a highlight there that later I'm gonna want to accentuate. And I wouldn't differentiate that from the rest of the top of this lamppost. Um, you'll see. I layered when I put down the base layer. The under sketch. I did the black below, but I did it in a manner that it wasn't all the same shade of black. And the reason for that is I wanted a visual difference. I also wanted to make sure that I include highlights. When you look at black or white. Those two are never true, white or black. They vary. Ah, lot. Take, for instance, when you paint a wall white, you have your off wide sheer country whites, all the different colored whites. You have your hospital wipe bright whites them even in paper. When you buy your paper, come in different shades. Same is true for black. So when you're painting shadows and things, you want to make sure to include those variances to get a more realistic look in your painting. You see, I'm kind of just going over the darkest areas each time, and I'm adding a little highlights to give it a three dimensional look. Again, this is the foundation of layers, so we're not trying to just build up layer after layer after layer here and create a finished painting. At this point, we're still mapping out or painting in these under layers, so just kind of getting the painting worked out on the paper so that as we build layers that will come to life. Continue with this. You notice I'm following the roundness with the brush just as I followed the direction of the feathers and the bird. I want to follow the shape here, and I want to imagine this in my head as a three D image so that I can follow those curves with my brushes. I see it in my head that comes with practice. So follow along. And when you get to the end of this section, I'll come back and Willa touch base on starting to build up our layers. Remember, this is the ugly duckling states to just work through it and have some fun with the process . 5. Building Layers Part 1: it's time to start building up. Those layers are going to start with a mixture of a are black mixture but a little browner . So I'm gonna add a little more burnt number to it than I normally would for regular blood mixture that will help us create some of these darker areas. I want to make sure you get these dark areas into the painting so that I can start evening things out as we go. If I start with highlights moved to the darks, then everything else for the remainder of the painting is evening out tones now show you how to do that as we go notice. I am again using my rake Irma. Hopefully this a medium recur and we're using this to follow the lines of the feathers. I'm not drawing straight lines if you notice it's a little short marks on making the reason why is I want them to appear is feathers, not straight lines. So this is gonna be a very start Darkness compared to the light right now. Don't be afraid of that. As we build layers in watercolor, the tones work themselves out. A lot of water color is transparent and semi transparent with a fuel paint colors. But, uh, most of it is transparent or semi transparent enough. You could see the colors under it, so the each layer should add to the color you have below are complemented to bring it to the tone that you want. Now, in this case, we're gonna be working with shades of grey brown. With this, you'll see me occasionally dip into my sepia to darken it a touch. Don't want too much of that, folks. That will create two stark a difference that sepia is a really dark brown and eastern pee wee's or a gray brown. They're much lighter color. I'm gonna work up here. I'm gonna follow the shape of the feather as I go. That will help us with our shape of the bird coming out around in the long run that mixed with our shading on our highlights. So he was gonna continue here. Now I've looked on the Internet at various Eastern would pee wee's to make sure I understand the wings. They have long wings. They have the little white tips on the different layers, their feathers, Uh, except juvenile's juveniles have a blush colored tip rather than white. If you look up here, I am adding the crown to this little guy. They have a little Mohawk shaped crown giving a triangular look, and they don't always have this displayed. Did you see in many of the reference photos? But if you look online, you will notice that that's a prominent feature. I want to make sure include this because the client for this painting asked me to do so. She particularly likes that. So I've looked around and researched and added that also they have Eastern would Pee Wee's can be identified from other flycatchers by the lack of the I ring around. A lot of birds have a little hiring. If you look on the Internet with that, understand that feature. Then you know this is an identifying mark for Eastern Peewee that differentiates it from other flycatchers, other insect eaters. And the reason why is because it does not have that hiring, like most of the others, too. They also have a little yellow on the bill. Bill inside, enough mouth was closed. You would not really be able to see that yellow. That's why I have his mouth open. I wanted to bring that prominent and bring that feature out these air features that somebody who is out in their backyard watching birds in the bird feeders or up in the trees on their walks or hikes these air features, they're gonna need to know to be able to figure out what bird this is. So I want. While I don't want every detail in this, I prefer to paint with the illusion of details. I also want to make sure that they can identify the bird so I don't want so much detail that it's a flat painting. But I do want enough detail that somebody looks at this. They can say that is an Eastern would pee wee without a doubt. So a lot of my clients, they're not avid birdwatchers, but they see my artwork, and when they're out walking trails or, um, at the park with their Children, they can look at the birds and recognize it from my artwork. I like that about it, so we're just going to continue here, going in the shape of the feathers. I always seem to start at the top and work my way down. If you're right handed Usually you start on the left side of the painting. If you left handed, you normally start on the right side of the painting and that keeps your hand from get going across the painting and smearing anything. Now I've had to train myself to keep my hand up enough that I'm not smearing because I tend to paint all over the place, which is OK, as long as you're conscious of the fact that you're going to smear your artwork if you're not careful. So you know, I always start from the top and kind of go down on my main feature off the painting, which, of course, is the Eastern would P. Lee and work my way down to the light post, which does not require nears much detail, cause it's not anywhere near the focal area of this painting, which is the eyes and face of the little guy. So now when I get to the light post, I'm gonna mix a little more blue in a very hint of scarlet red. In this case, I'm using French Ultra Marine to create a different shade of black than is in the darkest areas of the bird. I want those to contrast a little bit. So rather than use Thea end in the Throne Blue, which is what I used before in the mixture, I'm gonna use French Ultra Marine. I'm going to continue with my scarlet likes. That's my favorite red for mixing blacks and I will also mix a little burn number in it and that will create the blacks that I'm using for the lamp. And from here on out, it'll just be different shades of the black, more little blue in areas. Ah, little lighter in other areas, deluded, I say, a little lighter. That basically means the water colors diluted. Now, why are you following along here? I'll give you a little tip on how I create my watercolor paints. Occasionally, as you see in the Windsor Newton small set I have here. I use pan watercolors, but I prefer to have the colors I use the most. Now I was trying out a new palette, and I don't use all the colors on this new palette. But the bigger palette I have below is the primary set that I do use, even though I don't use all the colors. So I choose I chose the colors that I like, but I use most often in nature and wildlife. And then I create my colors from mixing these. I could create pretty much any color of desire by mixing these right here and the L. A reason why I have my small set out is because I've run out of burnt Sienna and my larger set and I do have it in the smaller set, so I'll be getting some more. Now. I buy mine in tubes, and then I poured into the wells oven empty, uh, palette. In this case, it's a little plastic travel palette, and I let that dry for anywhere from three days to a week. And then it's just us good as a pan set. But it's less expensive because there's more in the tubes for the price, I believe, and I tend to not use. It is fast this way, but I love the way it creates the colors. I love the way that it mixes when I add water back into it to reconstitute it. I love the fact that I could take it to a park to a trail while my grandchildren play. I can sit and paint or draw or sketch. I don't do my finished paintings out in the woods it and to do that at home. When I go out in the woods, I take my camera and I take my paint set in a small sketchbook and a few pencils. And this. I just get to know the wildlife in the area occasionally. If there's something that I haven't seen before, I'm gonna grab it on my camera and make sure I have reference photos to remind me of the details later when I do decide, I want to paint it if I wasn't able to get it in the sketchbook. Now what Sketchbook is great for is getting the colors accurate. It's very difficult with a camera to get accurate coloring, especially in the different lighting situations that you find out outside. So rather than try to rely on my memory for that, I will try to at least make some colors and get get to know what that is and write down what they are so that I have those colors available when I want to go back and paid my reference photos or create a fine art piece from my, uh, for a client or something. For example, this is a painting for clients. And she messaged me and asked me if I could paint in Eastern would Pee wee. I was very thankful here. Not too long ago. This past summer, I early summer, I did get toe watch for these, and I saw quite a few. My actually heard them first, and I didn't know what they were. And I went on a group on Facebook and just had them Help me identify it. Once I knew what I was looking for by the sound was able to follow those sounds and find the bird. And these birds, Eastern would Pee wee's. They do like to stay in the trees. They only come down when they're hunting for food and insects. So I follow their sound Wait for, especially in the evenings and in the not early morning. But maybe just before mid morning, I've noticed they're very active in this area, so I'm able to catch up with him. So just follow along here and notice how I'm following the, uh, shape of the feathers when I'm painting with my brush. Um, I had this leg. A little awkward looking, so I'm kind of going back and fixing it with the black here to make sure it looks like it belongs where it is. Birds actually have their elbows up inside so you won't see that. And the Eastern would Pee Wee has short legs. Tried to make sure. Remember that when I painted this bird on the light post Almost time we we see him on the brush. You don't see their legs too easily, But on this light post this lamp, you can see it clearly. So I wanted to make sure that I got that accurate getting in some dark Cyrix. We're gonna go back over this with whitewash. Build up that stomach. The white firm, the stomach with white fur feathers with white wash Now in the eastern would Pee wee, sometimes the lower underside. It has a very slight yellow tint to it. And sometimes it's all white. So I I'm gonna add that to it here in a minute. Also, Eastern would Pee Wee's have what you call a vest. Little darkened area, not too dark. A little darkened area comes in, is a little vest around its chest. but not up to high. Kind of like if you're buttoning a vest on you, so you'll see that come and go as I add the layers, and towards the end, you'll see me make sure that that's rounded and included in the painting. Just a hint of that vest. Starbird. You can start seeing some some of the bird coming alive. We have a long ways to go here, still in the ugly duckling stage. So stay tuned and I'll be back. Keep going. If you have any questions, don't forget to message me in the discussion section and ask any questions you need Post progress photos. If here. If you're thinking you did something that I wasn't supposed to be done, maybe I could help you correct it, Um, so you can keep painting. 6. Building Layers Part 2: Welcome back. I love watching a painting as it progresses and the changes it goes through. I take photos of each a stage so that I can compare it later and see how it comes to its full fruition. Okay, As you see here, I am adding white, the layer of whitewash around the face and the eyes to bring out some of the white areas in a reference photos. If you look, you'll see that there's really lighter colors. There's also white, um, up under the neck and down the chest that kind of turns toe a light yellow light orangish yellow. I want to say we're gonna bring out some darks and some lights here. I want that crown to start sticking up a little bit rather than late back. They have this cute little mohawk at times that they perk up, and I want that accentuated here. Now they're little Mohawk gives them a triangular facial look. So while we're trying to get the roundness of the cheeks and the face out, we also want to keep that in mind. We can achieve that by making above the I and around it a little darker. Then the actual Mohawk, um, on the beak here, trying to be very careful to create the three D look rather than a side. Look, um, the bird is not completely sideways, so I want to make sure that the underside of the mouth on the other side comes out just a little bit. So we're gonna darken and kind of bring it down as if it's trying to turn into a triangular shape. And I'm also going to darken down the center of the mouth and closer to the side that we're on and create a lighter, darkened area, but not as dark on the opposite side of his mouth. And that will help us achieve our three D. Look there. I'll come back in a little bit with some more yellow. Um, probably some cadmium yellow, very diluted. Teoh get the big color accurate on the inside of his mouth. Now, the under top and bottom of his mouth is gonna be great white on black. So we do want to make sure we accentuate that properly trying to get these little designs. And I did a little Internet search to come up with the details around his face to make sure I got the feathers going in the right direction. That goes a long way to creating the the look of the bird to make sure we got everything in the right direction and on the face. Those feathers change, so we want to make sure we do that accurately, not necessarily detail when I say accurately, I just made in the right direction, making sure to keep the highlight in his eye. And when I dark in the eye, I'm very careful to not just completely cover the eye with black. Each time I am just each time I go over the I, I cover a little less area, um, towards the lower part of the circle and then up the top, and that helps provide the three D look that we get. And then that highlight really brings into life. Here I am trying to create the three D look on the beak again, trying to draw a little bit lighter color on edges to create highlights and then on the inside of his mouth on the far side, The side closer to us needs to be darker in the side, inside his mouth, on the far side needs to be lighter, and that's gonna help us achieve what we're trying to get here now, As I've mentioned before, when I'm mixing the darker tones for this, I am mixing not a straight black. These birds are a great brown with black shadowed highlights, and in some areas, brown highlights down the back of the wings. These birds have very long wings, so I want to make sure carry that through and down. But to mix these blacks today, I'm using, in some cases French, ultra Marine and in some cases and then three three blue always get that name mixed up. I switch back and forth between those two depending on the black I'm looking for cause I can achieve different underlying tones in the block to create differences. And then I also switch back and forth for my neutral That goes in this mix Ah, burn number and sepia, and that helps me create some different shading. You can also, uh, use burnt sienna to achieve different graze. Brownish grace For this, um, for the red, I use just a hint of scarlet lake, so always mix a blue, a red and a neutral for my blacks, and in this case, they're gonna be heavier on the brown than they are the black. Because it's more of ah, great brown that we're looking for. Blacks come in different shades, and I mix it up each layer. I don't mix a lot. You hear some artists a mix up plenty of paint to cover when you're dealing with animals and birds and wildlife even plants the shades very so much within the coats and within the petals of flowers and the leaves, uh, within the feathers that I like to mix it up as I go along a little at a time to give me that variance in my feathers in this case or in for And it changes the color a little bit for me cause you're never gonna mix it quite the same each time. So then that gives you a little bit more realistic. Look, without adding detail to your painting. Okay, I'm gonna let you follow along here. We're basically just gonna work on the Eastern would pee wee in this portion. We'll get to the lamppost soon. If you do decide you want took over the lamppost and another layer go for it. Just be careful that the peewee does not use the wet feet or feathers of the tail. There is onto your light, so have fun. I'll see you in just a minute. Make sure it's completely dry. Before we get that, Go to the next part between each of these lessons you want. Touch your painting. If it feels cool in any way, wait and then start a little while later for your next layer. 7. Building Layers Part 3: we've started to leave that ugly duckling stage and I can start seeing an eastern. Would people be pop out of this painting, starting to look more realistic, starting to come to life. We're gonna add a little bit around this, finishing out the layers. I want to create a little more roundness to the chest, to the wings. We've done pretty good on the head here. I do want to add details to the tail like we're doing right here, creating a little bit of lighter color on the side and making sure my brush strokes of following the father's and the edges of these this tale will work really well. We don't want too much detail here are detailed belongs up above in the face. So we're gonna keep the tail feathers Simple. Yet we still wanna portray that three d look to them. So I'm doing that on the sides here with keeping the edges lighter and the centers darker and remembering that the feathers do go sideways not straight down on the tail. So pay attention to the shape of the tail. Birds have different shapes on their tails. So you do want to make sure you get the tail feather shape accurately. And you want to get the length, um, in proportion to the rest of the bird when you're painting birds because that is an identifying feature. So we're gonna have been working mostly on the bird. In the next lesson, we're gonna get back to the light and layer the blacks more. But you're welcome to do that as you go if you prefer to do that. I just wanted to focus on getting this bird correct, because this is for a client. She's requested this painting, and I wanna I wanna share the progress on the bird to get her excited. The light post is just to set the scene, Um, because she has an eastern would pee wee that sits on her light at home. And we just wanted her to see this come to life because she I post when I paint clients paintings. I do post the progress from the beginning even through the ugly duckling stage, all the way to the end. So they can see the work and see their painting come to life. Their vision come to life. And from her posts, she's enjoying this process from hurries from her responses to my post, just being very careful to follow the direction. There's quite a few tail feathers down here now. While I don't want to differentiate that too much to create detail, I do want to make sure I'm giving the illusion of that one of the keys to the way I paint, which is a non traditional. It's not your traditional water color. I'm self taught, and I've kind of created my own way of doing this. So I like to create the direction and give the illusion of detail. Um, which is just adding a touch here, a touch there, UM, creating a few highlights and shadows. And when people look at the focus area, they see detail in all of it, even though it's not really there. So it's the trick of the eye saying when you take photos with your camera, you don't want the whole photo and, uh, focus. You want the a focal area, and then you want a pleasing to the eye by not giving me I so much to just be distracted with. I'm trying to create roundness here with the highlights and shadowing on the belly I'm gonna have to go back and make sure that I'm leaving that vest. Eastern, would P lease do have a little colored vest on their chest that goes in with the white. So I want to make sure I include that here. Some are darker than others. Um, so how dark you make your vest is up to you. But it does need to be there. That is a key identifying feature. Now, my neck here needs a little bit of work. I'm probably in a later layer going to go back and add shadow so that that pops out a little more and creates a little more three d dimension there too. But for now, I'm working on getting those highlights in there with some diluted white wash. I do my white wash the same way I do my pains. I use the tube. It's Windsor and Newton. Designer whitewash permanent. White and I poured into ah area of mine. What is that? My palate. And I let it dry just like everything else for three or four days. Up to a week before I start using it on Deny. Reconstitute it with water. I don't want it so stark white straight out of the tube. I like it diluted. If I want it whiter, I just add another layer. I'm trying to create some direction here. We have to go back with some shadows to bring that little Mohawk out. Those of you in another other countries, Mohawks or just the center down the top of the head that goes, points up while the rest of the sides are smoothed back and on people that would be shaved . So when I say Mohawk, that's what I'm talking about. Can just follow along with the rest of the video. As I start bringing out details, we want to make sure you bring up the white under the tail. If I have noticed in reference photos I've looked at on the Internet that that little white section under the tail is prominent, So I want to make sure you bring that out, too. So make sure this layer completely dries and the next layer will do some more touch ups on this little bird. And at the same time we get started on the black, uh, layering the black on the light 8. Overlaying Water Wash: I love this stage of the painting. We're getting out of that ugly duckling stage for sure. Now it's time for a Clearwater wash. I don't want to go too much with color here, So I'm gonna add pure water in the direction with my flat, Uh, angled brush notice. I'm staying in the direction of the paint, the feathers and the roundness of the shape. Now, here you see me adding just a touch of cerulean blue in some areas to help with that shading. It's very life. This is an overlying wash. The color is translucent, are fairly translucent. And I am just adding I'm not giving it a complete wash with the cerulean blue, I'm doing mostly water. And then the Syrian blue area is going to help create the roundness of shape, and it will lose into the other areas. So this whole bird is about to be completely wet with either water or the wash. As I get towards the lower portion of the bird where he has a little yellow undercoat, I'm gonna add a hint of lemon yellow or ones or yellow to my wash. Uh, my Clearwater Just a hint. I wanted very, very light and go over those areas. I'm also gonna use the cerulean blue wash On the handle of the light are the circle atop the light. I guess that IHS and across the lid the top of the light to indicate where the light's hitting. This is a black white but black has changes when light hits it So the cerulean blue Bring that out. I'm using a tad more cerulean blue in this area. Then I waas in the bird because the black can take it. This is my overlying wash. I do this at the end or some people call it glaze. I do this at the end of Thea Ugly Duckling stage right before I start adding details to my painting. So you see me do that to give it more vibrancy to bring it all together to create a little more realism and depth to the painting to give it that painterly look that I'm going for now we're going to start working more on the light here too. You see, mixing my black and starting to create shadows and definition in this light. Now this I'm going to go through. I'm not gonna make you watch all this, but I will go through with several layers to get this black dark enough and ensure to make sure that it drives between Slayer. When you do this, um, you also see me pull out my ruler periodically to make sure that top edge is fairly straight. However, I don't want it exactly straight. So it's OK if it believes in a little bit towards the end. We're really gonna create shadow right under that edge because the lights coming kind of from the top, right, and a little bit behind the light. So we want to make sure that area right under gets really dark. So basically, you're just gonna lather the area with black. And I kept the windows alike gray. I'm gonna add a little surreal yin to that cerulean blue. And then I will also use white wash to bring out some areas off that window pane to I noticed I'm still painting. This is all black, but I'm still painting in the area in the direction that I wanted to go. That gives the illusion here of that good going down the lip, going straight down the roundness at the top. So shadows. Make sure you leave some areas lighter. Some areas darker for shadowing. This is all black. But you need to shadow the black. You need to highlight the black. You see there some areas here. I got out of my lines. I just use clear water to clean those up. 9. Final Layer: almost finished. We're gonna layer a little more black here, Get these shadows down. It's time for shadows. We're also going to go back and add a few details in the bird, especially highlights on the feet and the chest around the face. So making sure right now we're getting these dark highlights. We want this to appear dark under here. We don't want any detail whatsoever. Under it, we wanted to just appear is a deep shadow to give it depth. One thing I've learned is that when things are up close to you, you want TEM darker. When they're further away, they get lighter, such as the edges on the back side of the light and off to the right where you see the, um, light the three dimension of the light Go back. You want those edges, even though they're supposed to appear black lighter than edges that are closer to you, The edge closer to you should be darker. That's gonna help you with your three dimensional image. Give you a little depth to your painting using a flat brush here, just a little quarter inch flat brush. I think it's a number two and I'm using that straight edge, although I did what the brush enough towards seeped a little bit to give it that edge, agrees a little white wash painted downwards. Also to give it the direction I'm looking and the little highlights. And if you notice as unpleasant as it is, there's a little bird poop on the light in the reference images. So I want to replicate that here without it being gross for somebody to look at. So I'm just gonna create a little downward strokes with white, and that should help. Remember, we don't want detail, not even much of the illusion of it in this area. You just want to keep it really simple so that the I goes to the bird, but that it's natural that the bird is sitting on the line getting used highlights here, keeping in mind the direction the sun's coming from and the shadows. It's a little whitewash for the highlights. Not as deluded as before. I'm wanting it to show here. I've also gone back and added a little ah, cerulean blue and spots on the top of the light post to give that illusion of black but highlighted by the sun also kind of given a nice, shiny, silvery allusion. I want to make sure my edges are good here on this lip that holds the ring. I want to make sure it's got that three D shadow. Just follow along with these little finishing touches. Check your edges. Hard edges need to be sharpened up a little bit than do that soft edges. You can always use a little bit of war Clearwater on your brush and soften. Um, so check your edges and get ready to ah, just add some highlights where you think you need to on the bird. Um, a little bit more yellow, maybe on his belly. I'll look at it as we go here. I am using a paper towel If you notice to kind of create that rounded edges, um, with the white wash to get the texture I'm looking for for this lid in the ring. So just follow along. You'll know when you're finished. People always ask me, How do you know when you're finished? I'm finished at the point where have done all I can do without hindering the painting. If I noticed things were starting to get messed up and not look as good versus, um, the point that I was happy with it last. Then it's time to stop, and that's what I'm finished. So I hope you enjoyed this. I'll be right back. Make sure to let your paint painting completely dry and cure before you frame and mat it. 10. Layering Black and Adding Details: Okay, Hopefully your glaze is a completely dry. I'm excited. We're nearing the end of the painting. I can see the end. That's always a fun time in the painting using a metal straight ruler here straight edge to help me with this lip because I was having trouble getting it straight enough. However, I don't want it completely straight because then it won't look. Really. I'm not drawing lines. What I want to do is create a shadow that goes up to the highlight. So you'll kind of see how that goes. As we paint the layers this layer I'm there This lesson. I'm basically layering black. I'm varying the black as I mix it. I'm not mixing Ah, whole lot of black at once. I want my layers to change in color so I mix it as I go along. Now this layer has quite a bit of our number in it, but not so much that it's brown. It is a black or deep grey, and I'm gonna add the each layer above trying to follow along and keep the direction of the light. This is a three dimensional light. I don't want it to look flat when we're finished. So I'm gonna follow along. I'm also going to use White Wash to create highlights as we go. Weird going to add details to the bird here also just little details minute to mostly. We're gonna be working on this lamb, catching it up. So just stay tuned. Follow along this section. It's pretty straightforward. And I hope you're enjoying this process. Do not forget to post your progress as you go post your finished project when you're finished, It's always fun to see your work to see your composition if you changed it to see your interpretation of the bird and the light. I love watching progresses, people learn. If this is one of your first paintings, be sure to keep an image of it. A photo of it on your computer seat. Each year you can look back and see the improvement you've made. I don't care how long you've been painting. You'll always improve every year. Your continue to paint. The more hours you put into it, the more you'll improve. That's just amazing. I want to see your progress. Also, don't forget Teoh. Uh, ask any questions if you need to. I'm always here to help 11. Conclusion: I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. I had a lot of fun painting and creating. I never know how paintings going to turn out once it starts, Please follow and, uh, click the follow link to see You'll be notified when new classes are sent out and I try to publish a few each a month to keep get. Keep you busy, especially in these winter months when it's cold and indoor activities air preferable. So us. Uh, see you next time, Be sure to post your projects. Ask any questions you need by