Paint a realistic bird using acrylics Premium class

Joe McMenamin, Artist - Illustrator - Teacher

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41 Videos (2h 25m)
    • Introduction to the course

      1:46
    • Introduction to image preperation

      2:37
    • Tracing the bird

      5:46
    • Tracing the foliage

      1:40
    • Tracing the final details

      1:14
    • Preparing paints and brushes

      6:01
    • Introduction to wet blending

      1:26
    • Preparing for wet blending

      1:47
    • Painting the head

      5:19
    • Painting the neck

      3:15
    • Painting the body of the bird

      2:10
    • Painting the top feathers

      4:34
    • Painting the layers of feathers

      2:58
    • Painting the long skinny feathers

      5:23
    • Painting the overlapping feathers

      3:39
    • Painting the lower feathers

      1:59
    • Painting the brown layer part 1

      1:03
    • Painting the brown layer part 2

      6:28
    • Painting the beak

      3:35
    • Painting the white neck and pollen

      1:39
    • Painting the feet

      4:34
    • Introduction to painting the foliage

      0:41
    • Painting the foliage

      6:34
    • Introduction to dry brushing

      1:13
    • Dry brushing the pollen and neck

      3:45
    • Dry brushing the foliage

      8:41
    • Dry brushing the bird

      6:42
    • Introduction to adding the details

      1:42
    • Adding the details to the foliage

      6:14
    • Adding the details to the top blue feathers

      3:48
    • Thinking about contrast

      8:35
    • Adding the details to the claw

      1:15
    • Adding the details to the beak

      2:46
    • Adding the details to the eye

      5:53
    • Adding the details to the neck

      1:31
    • Adding the details to the white feathers

      5:46
    • Fixing up mistakes

      1:34
    • Introduction to finishing the painting

      0:45
    • Hanging the painting

      3:22
    • Coating with danish oil

      5:00
    • Conclusion

      0:29

About This Class

So you have made some acrylic paintings, but you want to learn how to take your skills to the next level. You've seen artists painting in a realistic style, and you would love to be able to paint like that, but you are not sure how to. This course will give you the skills and techniques as the tutor, Joe McMenamin, completes every stage of a painting of the New Zealand songbird the "Tui".

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4 of 4 students recommendSee All

Joe has an easy presentation style - very casual for such precision oriented work, a welcome balance. I enjoyed seeing how he built up realism using acrylic on a plywood surface, intriguing effect. Lots of good tips. Worth a watch!

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Joe McMenamin

Artist - Illustrator - Teacher

Joe McMenamin is a painter and printmaker and the flowing organic patterns that ripple through his works have won him a following throughout New Zealand. Joe has a bachelor of media arts from the Waikato Institute of Technology. He teaches art part time at Naenae College in Lower Hutt, Wellington. Joe loves teaching and gets lots of the ideas for his work through interactions with his students. His students also experience first-hand the different processes involved in his prints, drawings and paintings.

In Joe’s latest series of nautical themed screen prints his detailed drawings are screen printed as a ship and anchor or a deep sea diver. Joe then carefully drops coloured powdered dye pigment in the midst of the image, and the colours splash across the print, making each one bright, exquisite and unique. He finishes the print with some hand drawn pattern to represent the water.

Joe’s recent paintings depict a range of subjects painted directly onto the medium of plywood - it is a natural medium that attracts him and he makes the frames for each piece by hand. He is interested in New Zealand native birds. Joe skilfully paints these birds directly onto the plywood, which gives them a raw quality and showcases his photorealistic painting technique. He often applies a layer of Danish oil overtop, which brings out the grain of the wood and the jewel-like paint colours.