Night Owl in Acrylic Paint | Jennifer Keller | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Chalk Sketch


    • 5.

      Blocking in Color


    • 6.

      Face Details


    • 7.

      Body Details


    • 8.

      Wing Details


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Final Details


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About This Class

Over the years, I’ve been drawn to owls as a symbol of wisdom and mystery.  They’re so graceful as they soar through the night and they’re beautiful animals to include in your artwork.

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller.  I’m an artist and instructor but what I really do is help people gain creative confidence.  I love painting animals, and the more experience we have with different types of animals, the more we understand them and can adapt them to future paintings.

In this class, Night Owl, we’re going to paint a barn owl in acrylic paint!  You’ll learn how to create a starry background, the form of this beautiful bird, and the impressive textures and patterns in its markings.

In the lessons, we’ll cover materials, mixing, brushwork, form, contour, contrast, texture, loosening up, layering, and creating details.  Every move I make is explained in the class and you can follow along at your own pace.  

This class is right for you if you want experience painting more types of animals.  I’ve had beginner and intermediate artists do really well in my classes.  The key is to have an open mind and understand that patience and practice make progress.  Even as a teacher, I learn new things every time I paint.  It’s all about exploring and having fun. 

Once you practice this, you’ll be able to make these techniques your own and bring them over to your future creations with more confidence, which means more fun!  So, are you ready to take flight?  Let’s go!


Meet Your Teacher

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Jennifer Keller

Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!


I believe that art is magic. By creating, we mix our inner souls with the outer world to make beauty.

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and an instructor, but what I really do is help people release their blocks and express themselves with creative confidence.

I've worked in the arts for over 20 years as a frame designer, art gallery manager, vintage furniture and home decor dealer, art supply sales associate, and finally as an art instructor.

I love teaching so much. Seeing students light up when they begin to gain confidence in their abilities is so incredibly rewarding and I'm so lucky to be a part of that process. I'm really happy to be able to connect with people all over the world who love being artsy, as well.

I invite you to vis... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Over the years, I have been drawn to the alle time and time again as a symbol of wisdom and mystery. There. So graceful as they soar through the night. And they're beautiful animals to include in your artwork. My name is Jennifer Laura Keller. I'm an artist, an instructor, but what I really do is help people gained creative confidence. I love painting animals. And the more experience we have with different types of animals, the more we understand them and can adapt them into our future paintings. In this class, night owl, we're going to paint this barn owl in acrylic paint. You'll learn how to create a starry background. The form of this beautiful bird, and the impressive textures and patterns in its markings. In the lessons we'll cover materials, mixing, brushwork, form, contour, contrast, texture, loosening of layering and creating and tails. Every move I make as explained in the class, and you can follow along at your own pace. This class is right for you. If you want experienced painting more types of animals. I've had beginner and intermediate artists do really well in my classes. And the key is to have an open mind and understand that patients and practice make progress. Even as a teacher, I learn new things every time my pain. It's all about exploring and having fun. Once you practice this, you'll be able to make these techniques your own and bring them over to your future creations with more confidence, which means Marfan. So are you ready to take flight? Let's go. 2. Materials: Hello and welcome to the Materials lesson. Alright, so I'm gonna start off with an 11 by 14 canvas panel. This is a thin canvas panel, but a stretched canvas or watercolor paper will be just fine. And then I have a flat pallet minus glass. But you can use something from the store or something. You have a round, this is just a piece of glass from a frame. I tape off the edges and then use a paint scraper with a razor blade in it to remove the dried acrylic from it. After a dries with little spurts of water. I also have synthetic bristle brushes. Those are great for acrylic. And in this class, I've started this new chart, which will help you hopefully with brush measurements. Now, I use just a few types of brushes in several of my classes. So in this chart, I've listed the type of brush on the left. And then next I have the sizes for short handle brushes, which is what I use. Short handled brushes are mainly for watercolor and acrylics. The manufacturer makes synthetic bristle brushes in short handle and long handle for acrylics. And then in the next row I have the long handle sizes which are different. Why do they do this? I wish I knew. I don't know why they size them differently, but they do so we have to play along. And then in the next column, I have the millimeters of the head of the brush. And this is going to help you if you're not sure if you're looking at the right size because even between short handle, a long handle brushes and also depends on brands. Some brands from different countries will use different sizes. So I've included the millimeters so that you can make sure that you're in the right range. And I also included next to that inches of the head of the brush. So the first brush that I have is a one inch wash brush. And wash brushes are just like flats or brights or stroke brushes. So you can see in the first row under the headings, I have flat bright wash and stroke brushes. And so in a short handle it's going to be a 24. In a long handle. It's going to be a twelv there, about Twenty-five millimeters across and one inch across. Next i have a size 14 bright brush in a short handle. So next on the list, you can see 14 with a short handle is along handles six. And you want that to be about 1213 millimeters and it's a half inch width. Next i have a size ten bright brush in the short handle. So that would be a four and a long handle. But you can always double check by looking at the millimeters or the inches and whatever you have that's close is gonna work just fine. Next I have a size four bright brush and a short handle. So that would be a two in the long handle. Brush. Next i have a size 30 round brush in a short handle. Anything from a 3-0 to about a one is going to work. Your US wanted to be really small in a round brush. And on the chart, I have Filburn listed above that. And that's a brush that I do use in many of my other classes. I don't use it in this one. So going to the bottom row, I have the round brush in a 3-0 or up to a one in the short handle. Now in long handled brushes, they don't even come the small. So I recommend getting the short handle if you're not sure, just check your millimeters or the inches and that should help you out if you're shopping online, especially for paints, I'm using the golden brand fluid acrylic paint. This is a nice, smooth, thinner paint with lots of pigment. You can also use a heavy body acrylic if you like, if you have that around. But I love these fluid paints because they allow me to layer a lot. There's lots of pigment in them and I love how I don't have to water them down to get a thin application. They come thinner with lots of color packed in. And I have titanium white, always burnt sienna, yellow, ochre, Payne's gray. And I also have a stick of chalk, a paint rag, and about one to two pints of water. Okay, so that's everything. And we are ready for the next lesson where we're going to work on the background. So I will see you there. 3. Background: Hello and welcome to the background lesson. In this lesson, you can see that we are going to work on our background with a few different colors. I have the Payne's gray, the burnt sienna, and the yellow ochre all incorporated into this background, along with just a tiny bit of white. But we don't want it to be too bright if we mix into much white because it's going to be a starry sky. So let's have a look. I have the Payne's gray, the yellow ochre and burnt sienna on my palette kind of in a triangle. And I put the white in the middle. And I'm gonna use my one inch wash brush. Dampen the bristles, wipe them off so they're not dripping wet. And then I'm going to start playing around with my colors. I'm just going to mix them up on the canvas in a really fun, loose way. I keep the brush moving in different directions to keep though paints circulating and give the background more movement. We're not just going in one direction. And this is just the first pass. I do a little bit on there at the end just to layer it a little bit more. But you can see here I've worked in a little bit of white and that's about as light as I want it to get. Not too light because we are doing a night sky. And you can see how that Payne's gray is really dark and navy blue. It's not so great, but it mixes up with other colors. And it will make a really lovely neutral gray, which we're going to use in the owl. So all of these colors are in the OWL. It's gonna keep our color palette really well-rounded to have all of those colors brought out into the background. So in this background, I just want you to play around with what it's like when you mix these colors together. You can play around with what it's like when you mix burnt sienna and Payne's gray. Or if you add a little bit of yellow. And I have a painting table. So I don't mind if a little paint gets on it, but if you don't want to get paint on your surface, you can put down some newspaper. So I use the brush kind of in this, this loose way and then I'll come over the top and kind of smooth it out. But because this is the first pass, we are going to see a lot of brushstrokes. I use the brush to the side to get up nice and close to that edge without painting over the edge. I mean, I like it's okay if I get a little paint on my table, but I don't want it to be too covered because I like to to be a lighter surface. So here I've just sped it up because it's lots of the same kind of busy work. We're just moving along using different paints and seeing how they mix up. And if you decide you don't want it to get too muddy and you'd like these more saturated colors and you don't want them to mix together too much. You can always watch your brush and use more of the pure pigment out of the container. But here I'm allowing them to mix up and create some grays and have some of those pigments showing in a more unmixed way. So the less you mix all of these up, the more they will really resemble these more saturated pigments. If you mix a little bit of white and as well just a tiny bit so that you're not making it to light. But if you mix a little bit of white in, it will give you a more opaque color because the white is rather opaque. So if you're getting a lot of transparent brushstrokes, you can just add a drop of white to that mix and it will help you with that. So here I added a little bit more white than I would have preferred, but it's not too light. I don't mind it too much. But I do know that the owl is going to be covering some of that up a little bit more yellow to balance things out. And here we have some more of the burnt sienna, which is very red. So it's almost like I'm playing with the primary colors here. I have my Payne's gray standing and for blue, the yellow ochre is yellow and the burnt sienna is more red. So I'm using these as a stand-in for a primary palette. If I mix the yellow and the blue together, it's gonna make a little bit of an earthy green. And then I'm just covering up some of that area that was a little bit more light than I was going for just by adding a little bit of a darker color over the top. And then with a light brushstroke, I'm just kinda smooth out any really brushy areas. And now I have a smooth background for the most part. And I'm going to let that dry so that I can work on the chalk sketch next over the top. So take a little break, let this dry up and I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Chalk Sketch: Hello and welcome to the chalk sketched lesson. In this lesson, you can see that by the end we will have a nice chalk sketch of the owl. It is a very rough, loose, simple sketch just to plot out where this is going to lay out on the canvas as far as the composition goes. So I'm not going for any detail yet, just the size and shape of this owl. So let's have a look. So I'm going to move my pellet over so that I can work on this and not get my hands quit with wet paint. And I'm plotting out where the top and bottom of the bird is going to be so that I don't start drawing and squish that drawing up to the edge. And so I've got a dot or the top of the head it's going to be and then it's gonna go to the bottom where the tail is. And I urge you to definitely download my reference image of the painting so you can have a visual on this as you draw. But I'm just plotting out some dots about where this is going to lay out. And about halfway in is where the head is going to end and we're getting into the shoulder. So now I'm just going to connect the dots. So up top I'm working on the head and it's very much a circle. It's a little bit flatter on top. And then it comes around for the chin. And so I just kind of pay attention to how far up or down the canvas I'm working. And right now the bottom of the head is above the halfway mark vertically. You can just keep going and rub out any lines that you don't like and take a few passes so that you like the shape. I decided that I wanted to have the neck start down from about halfway down the head on the left. And then I'm rounding out gentle curve there to the end of the tail. So it comes out and then back in, kind of like a teardrop shape or a leaf. Right about here is where I have the feet coming out and there are three toes in front and one coming out the back on each foot. So there I just did three showing actually on the right foot. And the eyes are usually about halfway down the head in most animals. So I did a line and then I'm doing the eyes on either side and that line is just where the beak is going to be. And I did a double arrow, bool V-shape at the end. And then it has this point at the top of the head will point coming down. So it's almost like a heart shape on top. Ok. So where the head ends on the right, I just came straight down because it's almost on the same plane there where the wings starts. So I have the wing coming up to the shoulder and then curving in about halfway into the canvas and then down to the tail and I link them, the tail just a tad. So just watch your margins. You don't want things to get too close to the edge here. This is a very centered our work or composition. And then he can just fix a few things and make sure that you like where everything is. The great thing about Chuck is that you just wipe it off with a little water. So we're all set for the next lesson where we aren't going to block in the color on this bird. So I'll see you there. 5. Blocking in Color: Hello and welcome to the lesson where we block in the color for this bird. So as you can see in this lesson, you can expect to just play with a few colors within the bird. We're not going for detail, we're just blocking in our base color for the bird. So I'm going to show you what that looks like. I have my size 14 bright brush in the short handle. And remember, long handled brushes are numbered differently. So check the chart that I gave you in the materials list and the materials lesson. So here I have yellow ochre. I've loaded my brush pretty well with it and I'm using the brush to outline the shape of the wing. I am using the brush, the narrow way to get the most out of that longer side of the brush to carry the paint through more than a line. And then I can use the brush, the broad way to fill in the open space within the shape. And I paint kind of in the direction of the wing to begin to contour this shape into a form. So a shape is just the outline. And then form is the contour of the shape. So it's kind of rounded and tapered at the ends. So again, here you can see that I'm following that exterior line on the inside with the narrow end of the brush to get the most precision. And then I fill in the shape with a good amount of color. The more paint that you want to come out of your brush, the more you're going to press down and squeeze the paint out of the bristles. And the more precise your being, the more you want to have the brush loaded on the end. And just use a little bit of pressure so that not as much of the bristles are smashing down onto the canvas. So now I'm going to mix up the color for the body of the bird and the head. So I still had yellow ochre on my brush. I grab some white and just a tiny bit of Payne's gray because of Payne's gray is a very strong pigment B, compared to white and yellow. So I just wanted to just like a dash that Payne's gray. And we want this to be fairly light. So we're gonna do the same thing. I'm going to use the narrow end of the brush to follow along on the lines. And then I get more coverage with the broad side of the brush. You can roll the brush around on the canvas to get the paint that's closer to the metal area of the brush, which is called the feral. And just kind of roll it around to get that paint onto the canvas. So again, less pressure when you're working with this brush and you want it to be. Thinner area. And then you can use more pressure when you want more paint and bigger coverage. There I went over the line a little bit, so I'm just going to touch that up and have it meet that outline a little bit better. You can always make adjustments to your outlines as well. You don't have to stick a 100% with the lines that you drew. If you decided that you want to make the bird fatter or longer, you can adjust your outlines at this point, or really any point of the painting. Here. I'm just gonna go straight over those legs, whether inside the shape of the body of the bird. And just, I'm going right up against the color that I used in the wing. I'm not leaving much of a gap there. I'm just going straight up to it. And again, this is just a bottom coats, so don't worry about any details at this point. Okay, now I have my size ten bright brush with the short handle. And I'm going to pick up that same color that I used in the body and then I'm going to bring it up into the face. So I am going around the outside with one line using the brush the narrow way and touching any imperfections or anything I want to fix and that outline on the head, smoothing it out. And I'm coming in just what the corner of the brush to get that little detail up at the point by the forehead. And now in the face. If you want, you can go down a brush size. That's totally fine. So I I am blocking in the face, but I'm leaving some gaps where I want to just kind of remember where I plotted things out. So I'm going around the eyes. We can use that background as the eye color because they're so dark. And I, I actually painted the the beak of the bird down a little bit further. I think I brought it down past my chalk line slightly. And I'm going to fill this in. I paint over these gaps in this base color and where the background shows through, but I'm just using them now so that you can see where things are. And it gives me a little bit of a guideline when I paint. Because if we were to do another chalk drawing over the top of this, it would be hard to see because the chalk and this paint color are really light. So I'm just letting the background color show through so that it gives me a guideline for painting in the details later. And again, anything can be changed at any time with acrylic paint, you just paint over it once it's dry. No problem. So if you if you overshoot where you're filling this in, or if later you decide that you want to move something, I actually end up changing the eyes slightly. In the next lesson where we work on the face, I adjusted the eyes a little bit and I want you to see that. Ok, here's my size for bright brush with the short handle. So I'm going to load up that same color and I'm going to fill in the feet. And I'm bringing that paint up into the body and by layering it, I'm making it more opaque and I can see where the outline's going to be. And these feet are very simple. I did not put a ton of effort into it. Owls feed are really gnarly and they have huge talons and they're kind of scaling. So you could really get carried away with doing some really cool feet if you wanted to look up Owl feet online and do more details. But I loved it really simple. So here I have some brown And I actually, I forgot to draw it in the owls perch. So I'm just doing it now with a little bit of brown paint that burnt sienna. And take a look at the reference photo of where it is. And it's really just a post that the owl is standing on. So I'm going to paint it in with Brown. But I painted and in such a way where I leave a little bit of that navy blue showing through to give it more dimension. It acts as kind of a shadow color down there. So I just hinted at it and I'm not worrying about it too much. Okay, so here I have some white paint that I'm mixing into some burnt sienna. And the owl speed are a little bit darker. So I'm just going to use the small bright brush, the narrow way to get that detail and mark where the toes go. And again, this is pretty, pretty simplified. There's this thing called the 80-20 rule, where 20% of the painting is going to give 80% of the impact of the painting inherits the face and the wing. So we're just going to really focus on that. Alright, so that's looking good. Up next we are going to work on the face detail. So I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Face Details: Hello, welcome to the face details lesson. In this lesson you can see that we're going to give this phase a lot more details. We are going to work on. The color around the face, will work on some of the small little feathers within the face and then give the beak and the eyes more detail, more shadow around them, as well as some reflection in the eye so that it seems like they're coming to life. So here I have my small number four bright brush, and I'm just going to start to do a lot of back and forth, narrow brushstrokes. And they're gonna be coming outwards from the center, just like on and the owls phase, these are feathers going out and it's meant to catch noise and it helps the senses of the bird. So they all just kind of hone in towards the center of the face and expand out from there. So I'm going to leave a little bit of color from the background showing through around the eyes and nose or the beak. And I let the paint run out a lot on the brush. This is called a dry brush technique or there's not a lot of paint on the brush and it'll give you softer brush marks. So I load the brush and then I lay it down where I want there to be a lot of paint, even though this is a small brush, is not a ton of paint. And then I let it run out. And I work in these linear marks kind of back and forth, back and forth, scrubbing around. And we'll be doing a couple passes with this because even though it's white paint and it's really light, these lines are going to give the viewer the feeling of tiny little feathers. It's very soft and Downey. And sometimes I fill in a little bit more because this is kind of a loose painting. I'm not going for perfection. So I'll change things up. I'll make the rules and then break the rules a little bit. And I encourage you to do the same thing because everyone has sort of a different technique that they enjoy. Feel free to experiment. So here I have more white on my brush and I'm bringing in more coverage with the broad direction of the brush just to give just a little bit more coverage. But I can still see my original brush marks. I'm just making this a little bit more opaque now. And I think I even brought the face out a little bit. Yeah, I decided that I wanted the face to be slightly more round just because I think it gives the bird a cuter look. So this round moon face here. So I brought those right and left sides out a little bit and they're just a little bit closer to the outline of the entire head of the bird. So here I have burnt sienna and yellow ochre, mixing those up really nicely on the brush. And I am going to go over this line that I left exposed from the background using the narrow side of the brush. And I'm leaving a gap between the outline of the head and this line. So there's a little space showing and we're going to go back and reinforce the area outside of the face on the head with more paint so you can make any little adjustments you want at any time. There is not one recipe for how you should do this. Ok, closer up now, I can still see that dark area through the yellow ochre and burnt sienna mixture I have on my brush. So I like that because it gives it a little bit more depth. And I'm just falling that through. I also round out the chin slightly. So before I had it just tapered a little bit at the chin. And now I'm going to round that out because I really want a round face and they are pretty round in nature as well. So I'm not breaking all the rules here. We can, we can still tell that it's an owl. Now I'm going to use the same paint mixture and outline the beak and iss. And this isn't just for shadow. There is some color pigmentation on the face of the owl, which is not perfectly white. So we see that with dogs and all kinds of animals, there's a little bit more color around the features on the face. So I'm just lining the eyes and nose with that color. Okay. Now I'm taking some Payne's gray and burnt sienna and mixing it up. And I'm looking for a really, really dark color, almost black. It's kind of a charcoal gray. And I'm going to fix the eyes a little bit. I decided that I wanted them to be bigger and I was looking at my reference photograph that I grabbed from a few different pictures of the owls. This is kind of a combination of several different photographs. And I realized that I painted the eyes too small and they meet the nose way lower down. Do you see that difference? And they taper. So there's the the corner of the eye really comes down at an angle and tapers up into the eye. So, pay attention to that when you have a look at my painting, which I gave you as the reference image so that you can follow along with the shapes and everything that I'm using. So I'm just rounding them out and bringing them out a little bit so that, you know, they have more personality but also are a little bit more accurate. Sometimes I make eyes relieving to grab attention. And here I did a pretty good amount of making them a realistic size, but they didn't need to be bigger. So now I'm adding some white to that. Payne's gray and burnt sienna mixed that I began with on the eye. And I want it to be much lighter so that I can outline here. And so I'm going around once again. And I'm doing a little bit of outlining almost like a, like an eyeliner. And then the beat kind of has this line that comes up above the eye. So just kinda drew that in. I added a little bit more white. I didn't want it to be so dark, so I brought more white into the mixture. And notice on the pellet I'm making each new mix just next to the previous one so I can go back and forth between. So don't mix up all of your great every time. You just wanna do partial amounts next to each other so you can grab any of them whenever you want. So I went down to my smallest round brush. This is the 3-0 round. But if you have a one that's fine too, just whatever you have that small. And I'm bringing a light grey around the eyes. And I did cover up a lot of the yellow ochre. But you could leave some exposed and play around with how you want it. And I'm just following around as much with as much accuracy as I can. I I think my hand got a little unsteady there, so I might have to go back for a touch up, which is always buying. And you can see how at the bottom of the beaker I made that gray as well for graduate, catch that in the moment. But there I am touching up the eye, rounding it out where my hand kinda leveled. So now I have a little bit darker gray on there. And I'm going to give a little bit more texture to the end of the week. The beak on ALS is covered by feathers. So sometimes you see the beak exposed and sometimes it's covered up by all the feathers around it. And in this case I just hinted at the beak being there, but it's mostly feathers. I extended the beak down just a little bit to give it a lower presence on the face. And now I'm going to put in this V-shape over the bridge of the nose. And then there's a line going up all the way to that widow's peak in the face there. And I kind of I do it imperfectly on purpose because it's just not like a really strong line. It's kind of hinted at in those fuzzy feathers. I'm also taking a little bit of that light gray and dappling it in around the edge. Kind of bridging the color gap between white and that warm mixture that its outlining the face. Just a texture, eyes it a little bit and make it seem like the transition is less harsh. And I do that a few times over the course of this painting with different I go back and forth. I layer a lot. If you've painted with me before, I, you know, I layer a lot. And that's what acrylic paint is made to do. That's why it dries quickly. That's why sometimes you want more opaque colors. You can layer, layer and we'd let the colors from before show through slightly to give depth. Okay, so now I have a little bit more white on my brush and I'm just mixing more of that light gray. I'm going to bring some into the top of the head. And at any time if you're like, well, I liked the way it is. Well then, you know, this is all to be given as advice, but it's not strict rules. So do what feels best for you. Okay, now I have white on my brush alone. I washed my brush and I am going to bring in more of that feather texture spreading out from the center of the face. So you can see I already worked on that structure. A little bit of those little feathers in there. And I'm working on the islet now or the area around the eye. The eyelid is under the feathers and you know, it's it goes, it's kind of hidden. We don't see the eyelid like we do in humans, and the eyes are open. So I'm just tapping in little lines, making the texture stronger and making sure to go in the direction where it's fanning out from the center. This is going to give you that fluffy feathers. Ie you can bring those brushstrokes right up against the colour that's outlining the face. And you can use less white as you get in closer to the eye. Letting some of that darker, somewhat darker color show through to give it just a little bit of shadow. The beauty of layering, allright, contouring the eye. They're letting that show through. And this is something that I actually painted over and read did in the painting. So if you like that, keep it. I got a little persnickety at 1, and you'll see later that I do make some changes to the eyes again. But in hindsight, I really I don't know if I needed to, but I was I was just fussing with it. And you'll see when I do it when I work on the eyes pretty soon here. What I realized was the big CMD, narrow. I was looking at my photograph and then it's like, well, the beak on the bird that I'm painting seems a little bit broader. So I'm going to bring this white paint in inches, broaden that up a bit. And it does kind of cut into the ice others this straight line and then it rounds up at the top. And I don't know if this was necessary or not, but it's just what happened because I try things out and sometimes I like them and sometimes they don't. And that's part of being an artist. I brought some gray paint over the top to give that little line above non taking my gray paint that lightest gray. And I'm doing a few reflections in the eyes, so little crescent shapes up the top and then a dot at the bottom. And this is just a reflection because the eyes, Of course wet. So it's very shiny. So we are going to see a little bit of the reflection in the eye. So it's almost like an upside-down smiley face. And then I went through and I was like, Oh dot areas thicker. It should be thicker but it kinda looks like the eyelids once I made it thicker. So you could just leave it like an upside down smiley face and decide how you want it, how you want to do that reflection. I kinda like it. The width, thinner line work myself. But up next we're going to work on the body. So I'll see you there. 7. Body Details: Welcome to the body details section. In this lesson, you can see that we are going to give the body of the bird more texture and some shadow. There's some shadow under the body of the bird and under the chin. And then bring some of those feathery textures into the front of the birds. So let's have a look. I have my size for bright brush. It's all washed up and I'm adding titanium white to my brush. And first before I go straight into the body, I'm going to bring that white paint up around the face. So we're just using that titanium white in a line going around. And this is where you can make it nice and smooth or as loosens you want. I'm loading my brush from separate area of the pellet than just whether I keep the white. So I'd like to bring some paint over and work from there just so that I have more control. I brought the outline out slightly on the right-hand side. And just to kinda give it a little bit more room in there. And I gave it a line behind the wing as well. So it seems like the neck and back extend a little further around the wing. And there is a shadow that's going to come down below the chin. So I'm gonna start further down and around that area. And I'm just going to use these really loose brush strokes up and down. And they're going to contour around. So it's not like the whole thing is perfectly straight up and down. I come around the wing and curve as it goes under. And then I'm adding a little bit of that color under, above that area. Now I'm loading the brush with more titanium white and doing another row of those feathers and I'm making sure that they overlap each other and I'm moving the brush around so that it's not like it's row after row after row of feathers. They all kind of mix up. And so you will see some, some of that, but I want these two mixed together. So I'm using just a lot of overlapping as I do this. Now I'm going to make a gray. So I have my Payne's gray and my burnt sienna. And I'm going to grab a lot of white and add it to the end of that section on the pallet so that I can control how light and dark. So I'm going to make the line of that leg and then go behind it and darken that bottom area of the body. Grabs more. And I'm going to outline the second leg and make a little triangle in there so that I can see that lighter paint showing through and it will start to give the space for the for those legs. And then I'm gonna take that gray paint and bring it around and continue that line work, those brush marks up into the mid portion of the bodies. So I've got them kind of commingling and blending a little bit when they meet. I'm bringing more Payne's gray into that color, that gray. And I'm going to work it into the body down below a little bit more. I want a little bit deeper shadow, still pretty light, and I think I even darken some of that even much more. Here's more Payne's gray now. And I am bringing that underneath, giving this a good amount of shadow. So we have different layers of gray and they're all kind of allowing the other colors to come through. Okay, loading the brush up again with that lighter gray. And now let's loosely bring it up into the area where we painted white before. So I'm just doing a few really small areas. So it's so it's blending to the eye even though I'm I'm not mixing them up as a paint color. I put more weight in and now I'm just layering some more, getting lots of different colors of gray, light gray mixing around. Putting some over the legs. Now, the lightest gray I have over the legs. And now we'll work under the chin. So I'm gonna do one line as an outline. And like a little buffer zone under the chin where I can start to do that, that brush, brush mark. And then bringing that through a little bit thicker. So it's gonna kinda taper up at the top and then come down in those those lines, those kinda scribbly lines back and forth and bringing it down into the body. And then it kind of disperses from there. Here's a little titanium white and I can bring it up to blur that edge slightly. Okay. So that looks great. I'm pretty happy with it and I will see you in the next lesson where we work on the wing. See you there. 8. Wing Details: Hello and welcome to the wing details lesson. In this lesson you can see that we bring out all of those beautiful details in the wing with all of those patterns. And then there are some polka dots that I brought into the body of the bird, which I love. I think it's so pretty. It's one of my favorite elements in this painting's. So let's have a look. I have my small size for bright brush and got Payne's gray on there. And I'm gonna give myself some guidelines for the different layers of feathers going on here. So I just do these tapered little leaf shapes in a row. And that one was weird. I came way over. But as you can see in the final piece in your reference image, it's really layered so we don't even see these. By the time we're done, we can see hints of them, but it's not a strict guideline. I'm just giving myself something to go on here. And when level parts of these lines peek through, it's going to make it seem like they're shadow in the, within the feathers. So on this last row, I'm just doing lines that are all meeting at the tail. But this is actually, it's not the tail of the bird, it's the end of the wing. I might have been saying tail this whole time, but it's really the end of the wing. And then the tail is tucked up behind it in the actual animal. So here I'm taking a little bit of that Payne's gray in making more of a shadow under the wing. And it seems a little blue now, so I'm letting it dry when it come back over it with a darker color eventually. And I'm going to pick up some of that dark gray and bring a little bit worldwide into it. So it's kind of a dark medium gray. And I'm going to pop in some areas of gray into the middle of the wing, kind of in a row, but it's very loose. So you can see how it makes another layer. And then I'm gonna do a mark, a mark, a mark. And just follow along all of those feathers. They have a mark in the middle of the feather, but at the same place on each feather. Same thing again, merc, merc, merc. So you can see how that works. Here's a little bit there. And the markings are kind of like like a jog or any pet and the domestic pet, like a cow, even think of a cow with brown marks on it. They're going to look different from cow to cows. So it's the same thing with owls. So if you're, shapes are not the exact same shapes as mine, it's fine. It's not gonna make a difference. We just want these colors to layer. There are different likenesses of grey or in other words, different tents of grey, meaning they have different amounts of white in the gray mix. And so now I'm kind of wrapping it up so the brush marks at the top of the wing are going to be shorter because the feathers are shorter on the top of the wing. And then as we come down, they're gonna get longer and longer. So it's kind of like this short brush stroke section, a medium brushstrokes sec section, that's hard to say. And then at the bottom there longer. Okay. So I'm just dabbling in this grey color. It's very speckled. So, you know, sometimes I'm going in a row, sometimes I'm just kinda mixing around. It's very loose. So, you know, you'll notice they'll start off in a row and then let it break up a little bit here in there. It's not a perfect rendition of an alloy which is having a fun loose painting. Here I have another gray, this one's lighter and I'm speckling more in at the top, little bit longer in the middle. And I'm following up from the ends of those feathers that I marked in. So I'm just pretending that they're extending further in which they are. And then so it's kinda like an extension of those initial dark lines that I did for airlines. I brought a little bit of that light gray up to the top shoulder area of the wing because that's more lit. So there's more light hitting that edge. And now I'm mixing up white and yellow ochre. And I'd think I washed my brush so there's a little bit of gray in there. Rolling the brush around to get it all incorporated. And now I'm going to bring it into the longer feathers. And you can cover up some of the dark line. Now, if you cover a little bit, it's going to seem like there's a shadow underneath these feathers. So they're covering it up there above the shadows, light is always more visible on the more visible part of an object. So those little shadows are tucked under the feathers. So they overlap. And very loosely. I'm just bringing this through. I'm kinda going by the area that we painted with that gray, but then it breaks up a little bit here in there. Remember when we did that, those rows of gray dots along, I'm leaving the front ones on the left more exposed and then breaking them up as it goes further to the right. But yours could be all speckles and scribbles and anything that you find expressive. Now I'm including more yellow ochre into that yellow ochre and white mix, so it's a little bit darker. And I'm bringing that up right under that second row of feathers. So there's a little bit of a transition there. Here's some Payne's gray, Just a little bit of gray into that mix. It's going to warm it up and I'm breaking that up now. I don't want it to be so pronounced. But you can still get the jest that they're shorter feathers in that area. Here is some gray and burnt sienna, got some white in there just making another gray. Gonna bring that through that area. Just scribble it in little bit more panes of grey now. So just kinda rotating around my colors, making new grays as I go along. This one's a little bit darker, so I'm bringing it in kind of under that area, just tapping it in over some of those harsh, darker areas and then a few dots in a row. And I love that. It's so pretty. Here's some white and yellow. And I had that grandma brush bringing some warms up to the top there. And it's all just a bunch of lines, really just scribbly lines, very loose. Bringing some texture through to the middle and top of the wing. Letting some of that yellow show through kind of in a line but a very loose, it's just hinting at another layer of feathers. Now I've added more wide even still, and I am bringing in some highlights. And so I can bring in a few into the long feathers there. And this color is kind of similar to the color that we started with when we blocked in the base coat for the body of the bird. Now I have my three round brush, and I'm only putting white on the brush. And I'm gonna do some spectrally dots, polka dots. They kind of follow a trail down the feathers. And they're mostly at the top. So it kinda, kinda follow a pattern, but then I break that pattern because it's not perfect in real life. And a row of dots at the end of those feathers there. And that looks very fun, very happy with that. So I washed my brush and now I have Payne's gray and burnt sienna gonna mix us up for a really dark color. And I'm gonna add some dark dots next to the white dots kinda above them. And then break the rules a little bit. So we're kind of following along, but then some are touching, some are touching somewhere in a row sum or not. And I just think that adds a lot of personality, kinda brings it together. Here's that dark color on the brush and I'm doing another line under those dots in a row on the longer feathers. Really cool. It's a fun thing. Yeah, really loose though. Here's more of that dark color. Payne's gray and burnt sienna. Can I get a nice mixture here? And we're going to pop in some dots on the body of the bird. I'm using very, very little pressure on the brush. I'm barely touching the brush down. Cause at the top here, just under the chin, the dots are smaller. And then as we move down, they get a little bit better. So be laying more pressure on the brush and more of the brush. Bristles onto the canvas. Reload your brush when you need to. So light, light. And now as we get to the middle and certain drag that brush a little bit more. And then as we get down, I'm almost pushing the whole bristle down into the canvas, letting more paint stick to the canvas. Ok. And now I'm going to use that dark color and outline the legs on the right side just to give them a shadow. Just in the hint of a shadow. Like I said before, I'm not going crazy with the feet here. Now I'm using a larger amount of color down for the talent. And then I'm going to pick up some white. I think I've washed my brush and I'm going to pick up some of that lighter gray that I made before and go up the toes and a little highlight on their toes. Very simple line work. And even with this tiny brush, I can get a bigger line, way bigger than the width of the bristles because they splay out when you push. So okay, so that's looking really good. Up next we're going to work on the perch. So I will see you there. 9. Perch: Hello and welcome to the perch lesson. As you can see, we're just gonna text rise this piece of wood that the bird is standing on with different variations of the burnt sienna and the yellow ochre. So this is a short when I'm using my size for bright brush, I've got yellow, burnt sienna, and White getting mixed up here. And you want just kinda like an earthy orange color. And we're going to do some loose brush strokes. I'm curving around at the top. And just imagine this is a really worn fence post. So you're seeing the grain of the wood. Birds, probably lots of splinters in there. And I'm loosely coming through. You can see the blue from the background showing through a little bit. And now I'm adding a little bit of gray and white to it. I'm just want to change it and make it more light in some areas, more cool. Sometimes It's more yellow of a colour. So as long as you change it up, can't really mess this up. So now I'm coming through with more lines are really loose. You can pick a side that's going to get more light. In this case, it's the left side because the tail of the bird is kind of covering more of the right side of this post. So I'm using more of the lighter colors as we progress because the lighter colors cover up the darker colors. And here's some white. I'm going to lighten the feet just a little bit more. Get those highlights, Go on. Great. And I'll just use a little bit of that white color over the top very sparsely. And that's it. So up next we're going to work on the final details and bring this together. See you there. 10. Final Details: Hello and welcome to the final details lesson. In this lesson, you can see that we just do a few more details throughout the body of the bird. I worked on some highlights and low lights are light and shadow. And then we bring more color and stars into the background. So let's have a look. I have my number for bright brush. And I'm going to fix that little shadow that I started under the wings. And then just bring a few little wisps of brush marks through the whole wing just to make it a little bit more contrasted. And this is what I do at the end of every painting. I check my shadows and highlights. So here this is interesting though. So here I have a dry brush. So there's just a little bit of Payne's gray in there, but very, very little. It's almost dry. And I'm tapping it in for some texture in that outline of the face, especially at the bottom. So light. It barely shows up. Now I'm doing the same thing with some burnt sienna. So I'm just deepening that line, running some of the yellow shelter from before and then creating more contrast here. And that's really I grabbing. I love how it just really creates a spotlight around the face. And at the bottom there are these tent-like ruffles and the feathers. So I added a few little lighter lines, just kinda ruffled around the chin. And now I'm taking that burnt sienna and bringing it into the wing just to add some more of the red tones into the weighing because we have a lot of yellow and when we have a lot of blue in the grains there. So I'm bringing more reading. And at the end of every painting, I tend to work with the lightest lights, the darkest darks, and the more pure pigments out of the tube. So there's a little bit less mixing that I do. And then here I am bringing more of the colors into the background with kind of a dry brush technique, just layering a little bit more and taking away some of those transparency. So I've got burnt sienna now and I'm kind of scribbling it in. And it's up to you if you're happy with your background right now, by all means, don't do this part, but I felt like I could use a little bit more layering. So I'm just having fun bringing in more color into the background. And now for some blue. You can see it gets much darker because that blue is layered over other dark colors. And it's just making everything a little bit more rich. And I am going over some of the areas that I just painted to, to refer them up. I'm not going for this blocky thing, even though it is very loose and brushstroke EP. Okay. So it's very gestural, very expressive. It's like its own little abstract painting back there, but subtle, dark, moody. Okay? You don't want it to be too light. And the blue is going to make it seem more like a sky. And darkening the bottom of the painting as well because typically there's less light at the bottom. And now I grabbed my 3-0 round brush for the stars. Just like we did at the top of the body, read under the chin with those dark polka dots. I'm doing the same thing with my stars. So it's dot-dot-dot, very little pressure. But if you mess up and do some like you get more paint down, then you mean to you can make a little cross. And that will make it seem like rays are shining out of the star a little bit. And that's how I kind of mask my screw ups when I do stars. So I just sped this up and I'm going along, you don't want it to seem like it's too much in a row. You want it to seem more and mixed up and organic out there. And now I have the white on my brush and I'm bringing more into the wing. I'm texts rising the line between the wing and the body. Kind of breaking that up with white and just popping in a small amount, a small amount of weight. You don't wanna go too far with it. Just to make it seem like light is hitting this bird. The feathers are kind of shiny. And then that is all of the paintings. So I let it dry totally. And I'm taking a damp rag and I'm taking off all lived the stray chalk marks. And that's it. And this is our bird. I hope you enjoyed this process. And thank you so much for following along with me. Thank you so much for joining me for this class. I had a blast creating this piece. If you enjoyed this class, please consider following me for future updates on new classes that I offer. And remember Art is meant to be funds. So if you show up in practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. Happy painting, much less. Yeah.