Watercolor Quail

Watercolor Quail - student project

Thank you for the inspiring class! I really admired the way you carefully added color, so I tried to emulate that with my quail painting. I also tried to paint wet in wet, and allow my paints to blend on the paper more than mixing on the palette. I chose my reference from the wildlifereferencephotos.com website and once I was happy with my sketch, transferred it to watercolor paper.

Watercolor Quail - image 1 - student project

I tried to do everything as closely to your method as I could. I soaked my paper in the bathtub for 3 minutes, and used my kraft tape to adhere it to the board. I have never stretched my paper before, and I really enjoyed painting on it this way! It didn't buckle at first, and I think the paper took the paint better since it was pre-wetted. Watercolor Quail - image 2 - student project

First wash! I used burnt sienna and some azo yellow.Watercolor Quail - image 3 - student project

Here is a few more washes - I used cerulean blue mixed with burnt sienna for the body, and indigo blue mixed with burnt sienna for the dark parts on the head. I did this part after lunch, and I noticed that the tape didn't hold the paper very well on the top and had shifted so I had some buckling while I painted the bird's body. Next time I will try either covering more of the paper with the tape or maybe throw in a few staples. Also, the paper was very dry at this point and even though I tried to wet the areas first, things were just drying too quickly for me (Dang Arizona desert!) so it was hard to get the same mixing of colors as before.Watercolor Quail - image 4 - student project

Here it is after all the initial washes! I thought I would suffer doing all the tiny feathers on the neck, but I played some music and just got into the zone :) From this point on, it was just about adding details and darkening some of the layers.Watercolor Quail - image 5 - student project

Here is my final painting after I cleaned it up in photoshop (I watched your video from a previous class which gave me a lot of tips for creating a nice digital image). I am very pleased with how it came out, and I learned a ton! Thank you for sharing your technique and I really look forward to watching more of your classes.

Stephanie Liszewski

illustration and design