Puffins in Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide | Chris | Skillshare

Playback Speed

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

Puffins in Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide

teacher avatar Chris, Watercolor artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Background - Underlayer


    • 5.

      Grass - Layer 1


    • 6.

      Grass - Layer 2


    • 7.

      Grass - Layer 3


    • 8.

      Finishing Grass and Rocks


    • 9.

      Puffins - First Washes


    • 10.

      Beaks and Eyes


    • 11.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

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





About This Class

Class Overview

In this exciting Skillshare class, you will learn the art of painting Puffins in Watercolor. I will guide you step-by-step in creating a realistic painting of these adorable birds. 

What You Will Learn

Throughout the class, you will learn and practice the following skills, techniques, and concepts:

  • How to paint realistic puffins in watercolor
  • Techniques for painting stunning grass using masking fluid
  • How to create texture and depth when painting rocks
  • How to use bold colors to bring your artwork to life
  • Wet on wet and wet on dry techniques for watercolor painting

Why You Should Take This Class

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced painter, this class is designed for anyone looking to enhance their skills in watercolor painting. By the end of the class, you'll have a beautiful painting of puffins that you can be proud of. Why should you take this class? Not only will you have fun and learn a new skill, but you'll also gain a sense of accomplishment in creating a beautiful painting that you can display in your home or give as a gift to someone special. So, if you're ready to explore the world of watercolor painting and create a stunning painting of puffins, this class is perfect for you!

Who This Class is For

This class is perfect for intermediate watercolor painters who want to improve their skills or anyone who is interested in developing their painting skills. Whether you are a professional artist or a hobbyist, this class is suitable for anyone who has some experience with watercolor painting and wants to take their skills to the next level.


Within the Projects & Resources section, you will find a PDF file that includes a comprehensive list of the supplies I used for this painting. This list covers the exact brushes, colors, paper, and other necessary tools. Additionally, I will provide ready-to-print line drawings in various sizes, along with step-by-step photos that demonstrate the painting process. You can also refer to my finished painting for inspiration and guidance.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Watercolor artist

Level: Advanced

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

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


1. Introduction: Hi. Would you like to learn how to paint these adorable puffins and how to create grass and the rocks around them using watercolors. I'll be happy to show you how to do this in this Skillshare class. I'm Chris, I'm a professional watercolor artist and teacher. Back in 2012, I discovered my love for watercolors, and ever since it has become my greatest passion. In fact, I turned my passion into my profession and since 2019, I've been teaching online, sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the beauty of this medium. In this Skillshare class, we'll be focusing on painting puffins. I'll guide you step-by-step in creating a realistic painting of these adorable birds. Throughout the class, you will learn and practice skills, techniques, and concepts that will help you to create this amazing painting. I'll provide you with all helpful resources that will help you to get started. This includes a comprehensive list of the supplies I used for the painting. Ready to print, line drawings in various sizes, along with step-by-step photos that demonstrate the painting process. And of course a reference photo. You can also refer to my finished painting for inspiration and guidance. If you're ready to start creating something beautiful, Then let's jump right in and get started. 2. Class Project: For your class project, I'd like you to challenge yourself and have a go at the entire painting. However, I know that for some of you, the entire painting may be overwhelming. So if you feel that the whole painting is too much, you can focus on just one area to make a study of it. E.g. you can choose to paint only the grass or rocks to perfect your technique in those areas. Alternatively, you can choose to paint just one bird or just the head of the bird to capture the details and textures of the Puffin. Whether you decide to paint the entire painting or just a study of one area. I encourage you to share your painting in progress photos with the class. You can upload them to the projects and resources section. By clicking on the Create Project button, you can add a short description of your process and any challenges you faced during your creative process. This will help other students and allow them and me to provide feedback, Support. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask anything in the discussion section, I'll be very happy to answer all your questions and assist you in this painting process. I also highly recommend that before you start painting, you first watch each lesson to get familiar with what you're going to do and be better prepared for what to expect. It will help you to paint with more confidence and comfort because you will know your goal. 3. Resources: To help you get started with the project, I have prepared several resources for you. You can find them in the projects and resources section. Please note that they are available in the web version of this Skillshare, not in the app. In the resources you'll find a PDF file with a list of all the supplies I used for this painting. You don't need exactly the same supplies. Feel free to use your favorite art materials, especially your favorite paints and brushes. The only thing I highly recommend is to use 100% cotton paper. You will also find a reference photo, work in progress photos and my finished painting for reference. You can also find line drawings. I've prepared for different sizes of line drawings for you so that you can just print the one you prefer and transfer onto your watercolor paper using your preferred method. I painted the Buffon's in 12 by nine size, but you may want to paint in a different size. There is also a JPEG file with the line drawing. It is not size, so you can re-size it however you like if you want to paint in a completely different size. And if you would like me to prepare a line drawing in any size you like that is not listed in the resources, then you can just contact me and I'll be happy to do this for you. 4. Background - Underlayer: Hello everyone. Today we're going to start painting the puffins. The reference photo comes from Pixabay because these birds don't live in my country, so I couldn't take photos of them. These birds have been a very common request from you. I wanted to find a good reference photo and sometimes it takes a long time. But here I am. As you can see, the colors in the reference photo or different, they are not as saturated as in my painting. You've heard this a lot, but I can't stress it enough. Colors are always less important than tonal values. If you keep the tonal values correct, you can change the colors however you like, and it will all look good anyway. Looking at the photo, I knew that I would have to make the colors more intense. But the reference photo is always a very good starting point. I liked the general color composition. The only thing I did was to intensify the saturation composition wise. I think it's a great photo. However, I cropped database in order to get rid of some of the background. Focus on the birds a little bit more and also to match the proportions to a standard size. And the size of my painting is 12 by nine. We're going to start painting from the background. And I think that it will be easier to paint if we mask out the birds. We will have more freedom in our brushstrokes. We won't have to worry about painting around the bird shape. I'm going to use Winsor and Newtons masking fluid with a yellow tinge. As always, I'm going to wet my brush, rub it on a bar of soap, and then mask out the edges of the birds. When the masking is completely dry, we can start painting the background. I'm going to use the brush size 12th. First, let's prepare our colors. I'm using a spray bottle with clean water and spray my paints to activate them. It will be easier to pick them up. We're going to need ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. I'm looking now at the right-hand side of the background. We're going to paint it in two sections. We're going to start from the right-hand side, and then when it dries, we will paint the left-hand side. At this stage, we want to apply very basic colors, the main colors that we can see. If we squint our eyes or if we blurred the picture, we can see better the main colors without being distracted by the details. In the bottom right corner there is grass, which also has some green colors. We also need to make some greens, since we already have ultramarine blue. Let's mix it with transparent yellow. We're trying to use the same colors as long as we can to keep the color harmony. That's why I'm not introducing another ready-made green here, e.g. because I know that I can mix the color I need from one color I have already used. So ultramarine blue and an additional transparent yellow. This way, the blue is still in the green, so the colors stay within the same limited range. We can also add some burnt sienna to that green to shift the hue. We will see how it goes during the painting. I'm starting by wetting the area. I'm going to paint on the left from the Puffin, go over the water also on that grass and Iraq. We want this blurry background to be behind the grass. So at this stage, we're going to paint the light background and later we're going to paint a darker grass on top. After wetting the paper. Pick up the blue and applied behind the bird. While you're painting, change the color to burnt sienna. I can see in the photo that blurry background is actually rocks in the distance. There is a very subtle blue there. And as you can see, I'm making it much more saturated. I want to suggest the sky in the back. That's why I'm using stronger blue. I think that this blue behind the birds create a nice illusion of space. I'm using ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. Also because ultramarine blue is a granulating color. And with burnt sienna, it creates that nice granulation effect, which looks nice on the rocks. Even though it's just a suggestion of the rocks in the distance. The important thing here is also to keep the painting at a slight angle and allow the paint to flow down. The reason for that is because this way we can create vertical shapes, which also indicates that there is something really high in the background and the birds are standing very high also, we can indicate that height. Also by painting elongated vertical shapes. I'm also adding a touch of green to suggest some grasses under rocks in the distance. Notice that I tried to keep everything really wet and wet. I see that some areas are starting to dry out before I add the paint. I'm wetting that area with clean water. I'm also trying to paint around the rocks to keep their sharp edges. At the bottom, I'm using more green. And that painting, any details, this is just the base, the foundation. There is more brown close to the rocks. Notice that I'm trying to keep the edge soft. I call this kind of edge a forgotten edge. The idea is that when you don't know at this point, what you're going to do with it. Just live it. Forget about it for now, but keep it soft. Blend it out. Try to avoid getting a sharp edge. Later on when you come back to this place, you can make a sharp edge if there is a need or you can continue painting, creating smooth color transitions because this soft edge will allow for that. Now leave this right-hand side to dry. And when it's dry. Let's paint the left-hand side. Again, we're focusing only on the main colors, big shapes. We're painting just an under wash with a light tone of the final colors. You may ask, how do I know which colors to use? The answer is actually very simple and it applies to almost every painting at this stage. I almost always look at the lightest color I can see in the reference photo. I'm using this color in the initial wash, e.g. here, the lightest grass blades or light green and brown. I'm applying a light tone of these colors because I know that in the next layers, I can make some areas darker while the grass blades will remain light. In watercolor painting, it's best to think from light to dark. You have to think beforehand which areas are the lightest in terms of tonal value and how you can keep them light. Sometimes you just paint around them. Other times you need to protect them somehow. E.g. by using masking fluid in oil painting or acrylic painting, It's different. I'm not an expert, but I think that you first apply dark tones. You block in the beak shapes of darker colors. And then you can apply lighter and lighter colors on top. In watercolor painting, it's practically impossible. And this is one of the reasons why it is considered as a difficult technique. I'm wearing the left-hand side of the painting and I'm celebrating the fact that I don't have to carefully paint around the birds because they are masked out. That's always such a relief. I'm applying my main colors, greens and browns. I'm trying to keep the edge soft and keep in mind there is a rack. Sorry, I'm trying to keep away from it. Notice that I'm using a big brush and I'm painting big patches of colors, allowing them to mingle on the paper. It's important to keep everything wet, allow the colors to mix and create smooth color transitions. Close to the bird, I'm using a stronger mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. This area will be much darker later. Now leave everything to dry. And in the next part, we're going to continue painting the grass. 5. Grass - Layer 1: The first, initial layer in the background is now completely dry. Notice that in the grass areas we now have more or less the color of the lightest grass blades. So now we have to figure out what we can do in order to protect this color. If we were painting with oils, we would first apply the darkest tones here. And then we would use a very thin brush and a light tone to paint individual grass blades. It would be much, much, much easier. In watercolors. We have to find a different way. We're going to use a dip pen. If you don't have a deep pen, it can be a different tool that will allow you to apply long thin lines of masking fluid. Maybe a ruling pen may be an embossing tool or perhaps a needle. However, I found that a deep pen works best. It's also not very expensive. I think it's good to have it because sometimes it comes in handy. I'm putting masking fluid into a smaller container, into an old cap from masking fluid bottle. First, dip the pen in the masking and test the flow on a piece of paper. When the flow is smooth, start applying it on the paper. Create many, many, many lines indicating individual grass blades. Obviously, we can't paint them exactly as they are in the reference photo. But we want to create that impression of lush grass texture. What we are doing now at this stage is that we are protecting the lightest grasses. We can see in the photo when we remove the masking later, these grass blades will have the color of the first layer that is now on the paper. Here. I hope you can see better how I'm applying the masking. I'm trying to paint lots of lines, paying attention to their shape and direction. They can overlap each other, curve to the right or to the left. But in general, I'm trying to keep that flow from top to bottom. On the left-hand side, there are grasses that grow more horizontally. Don't forget about them and change the direction according to what you can see in the reference photo. Here's how it looks now. We can do the same thing in the bottom-right corner, but here the grass grows at a different angle. So try to recreate that in your painting. I also have to mention that this is the first layer of masking. And we're going to apply to more layers. So don't cover the entire area with masking. Now, leave some spaces between the grass blades for more grass blades in the next layers. When it's so dry, which shouldn't take long, maybe a few minutes, we can apply another layer of paint. Before we start painting the grass, I suggest that we quickly paint this small triangular rock tucked behind the grass. I think it'll look so rather lovely. So I decided to keep it. Many times. It's a good idea to eliminate some elements from a painting. But this one I think looks very nice. I'm going to use a brush size eight and a mix of burnt sienna with ultramarine blue. I'm starting from the most prominent dark shape side of the rock that is in the shadow. And I'm applying a light tone of my neutral brown. I'm creating a forgotten edge. So I'm softening that edge towards the grass. Now with the same color but a much lighter tone. I'm painting the top side of the rock. I'm just touching the brush in a few spots, leaving some white gaps. And that's it. I'm softening some of the edges and I'm leaving some of them sharp. Now when everything is dry, we can apply another layer on the grass. I'm looking at the colors and I can see that in general, the darker tone is more in the corner. On the right, there is more green and the color changes into brown towards the lower part. That's all the information I need. There is also a dark part of the rock behind the grass. I'm mixing burnt sienna with ultramarine blue and also Payne's gray. This time, I'm using Payne's gray because it allows me to darken the color much more and I need a very dark tone. My green is again mix of ultramarine blue, transparent yellow, and a touch of burnt sienna. I'm going to use a brush size 12 again, because we need to think in big shapes now, we don't want to get caught into details. I'm painting wet on dry this time. But as you can see, the paint is quite well diluted. I'm sure that I can quickly soften any unwanted sharp edges, like here on the right-hand side, close to the rock. The idea now is to darken the spaces between the grass blades to create the depth of colors. I keep in mind that when I'm going down, I need to change the color mode to brown with a darker Payne's gray. I'm also suggesting a dark rock behind the grass. Notice that because we have mass cow the grass blades, they will be in front of the rocks. Here I can see some rocks as well. So I'm trying to create that rug shape and I'm also painting around the rocks laying on the ground. Everything now is very general. We're focusing on the beak shapes and tonal values. The further we go, the more details we will apply. Repeat that in the bottom-right corner. Start with a bright green with more transparent yellow. And going down, play with the colors. Remember, you don't have to use the same colors. Most importantly, tried to build the tonal values. I want to get a very dark turquoise here, a mix of ultramarine blue, Payne's gray and transparent yellow. My colors are changing on the palette very quickly. I'm just using what I have, what I think would look nice in the painting. As long as I'm using the same colors all the time, I know everything will look good and I will keep the color harmony. Leave everything to dry completely, possibly overnight. 6. Grass - Layer 2: When everything is dry, we can now create more grass. I'm using a dip pen again, and I'm adding more grass blades. Notice that at this stage, the colors are darker than when we were applying the first layer of grass. So now we're protecting a darker tone. Hence the grass blades will be darker in result, It's like creating another level of grass. If make sense. I change the direction here to indicate that there is a rack shelf and the grass is growing at a different angle. I'm also adding more grass blades in the bottom right corner. When masking fluid is dry, we can apply one more layer of paint. I'm activating my Payne's by spraying them with clean water. I'm going to use a brush size 12. But also at Designers brush size zero. Designers brush is very similar brush to a rigger brush, but it has shorter bristles. It's a great brush for painting. Very thin lines. I'm going to need a very dark brown. So I'm preparing a mix of burnt sienna with Payne's gray. I also have my green on my palette and mix of transparent yellow with ultramarine blue and Payne's gray. We will also need pure burnt sienna. Now again, I'm applying another layer to darken the spaces between the grass blades to deepen the color, to create another level of depth. It is actually similar to the negative painting technique. But instead of carefully painting around the object. So around our grass blades, we protected them with masking fluid. Here you can change the direction. Probably there is another rack shelf here, and that's why the grass here grows more horizontally. Reflect that in your brushstrokes. Focus on the tonal values. Pay less attention to the colors you're using. Now we can use a Designers brush to add more of those thin grass blades. I'm using green furthest. They look like hair. Tried to paint them in different directions so they look natural. If we paint them in a regular manner, it won't look natural. Use different tonal values, paint some of them a little bit lighter to suggest they are more in the back. And those which are darker will appear to be more in the front. Do the same in the bottom right corner and leave everything to dry. 7. Grass - Layer 3: In this part, we're going to just add some more colors to the remaining areas. I can see in the reference photo that the grass here has a little bit different hue. The green is more fresh. I am going to use Winsor green, yellow shade. As you can see, it's a totally different green. Aids, more artificial. But because I already have some colors on the paper, I know that I can apply this green Edit will look good because the colors from the previous layer will show through. If you don't have Winsor green, yellow shade, you can use a different green that you have on your palette. Maybe you have a hookers green that would be a good choice. I'm painting the grass here where the beak size 12 brush in the beginning to create wider strokes. And then with a Designers brush, I'm adding more thin lines. There is the rock under a ten, I painted a very sharp edge. I'm going to soften it a little bit with my scrubber brush. In the bottom part, I'm adding a touch of permanent rose. I can see that color in the reference photo, so I want to use this information later. I will also add a touch of pink on the puffins belly. I'm applying basic colors here first and then while the paint is still wet, I'm adding some grass blades. I want them to be blurred. This is just an indication of the direction. Later when the paint is dry here, I'm going to add more prominent lines. There is also this area in the middle where we can see some rocks. Don't worry about the rocks now, look at the spaces between them and apply basic colors. Get inspiration from the photo. But remember you can do whatever you like with your painting. Paint around the rocks, keeping their sharp edges. Start with a light tone first to map out the colors. Later, we will darken the tones. When everything is dry, we can finally remove the masking fluid from the grass, doesn't remove it from the birds yet. As you can see, the grass is light in tone. Now we can see each layer of paint. Some of them are very light. It was the first layer that we have protected. Others are a bit darker, and it was the second layer of masking. I'm going to leave it as it is because of course the grass needs some slight adjustments, will make it look better in the next step. But in general, I think it looks rather nice. It would be very difficult to paint it without masking fluid. So now let's move on to the next part where we'll be finishing the grass and the rocks. 8. Finishing Grass and Rocks: Make sure there is no masking fluid or residue on the paper and we can continue painting. Let's start from finishing the grass first and preparing some browns mix of burnt sienna with Payne's gray. And I'm very gently glazing over the grasses. My objective here is to add a bit more color on the lightest grasses and maybe push some of them more to the back by applying a darker tone. Of course, I'm changing the color along the way. In some places I want more greenish grass blades and in other places more brownish. The idea is to pull everything together. Now, it's like a unifying glaze. Glaze is just a very thin wash of color. I'm painting wet on dry, barely touching the surface of the paper. I'm really sorry for the glare here. Sometimes just a slight change of the angle affects the camera. I'll fix that in a minute. Now you can see better that I'm just glazing over some areas to add more color. I'm mixing more green, a mix of ultramarine blue and transparent yellow, and I'm using it under green grass on the left. Notice that my brush strokes reflect the direction of the grass. I'm adding more ultramarine blue here. I can see some blue spots in this area. And I think that a bit of blue here will create a nice contrast with the orange elements of the birds. I'm already thinking about some blue spots in this place, just as an ornament rather than an exact representation of what is in the reference photo. I'm darkening the area between the rocks. In the beginning my plan was to use masking fluid here the same way as with the grass. And that's why the first layer was so light. But now I thought we can do this in a little bit different way, a way that resembles oil or acrylic painting. So we're going to cheat here a little bit. I'm applying darker colors now and later we're going to add some tiny details with white gouache will not exactly white, but with an addition of gouache. I'm not very precise here. I just want to darken this whole area and I don't really care if I get a very smooth wash or not. If I get some blooms or not. The reason for that is because this area isn't really smooth. It's the ground with some grasses. There is a lot of texture, so everything can happen here. And I don't mind that I only care about the tonal values and I'm using colors that I think would look nice here. When everything is totally dry, I'm squeezing a bit of white gouache on my palette. I'm going to use a spotter brush size to, you don't need a spotter brush if you don't have it, you can use any of your regular round brushes, but with a spotter brush, you will have more control over the paint. I'm mixing burnt sienna and Payne's gray with white gouache. This way I get an opaque pesto looking brown. I'm using this color to add some random spots and short lines on the ground, suggesting maybe some dry grass, maybe some sand, maybe some dirt, some small rocks. Wherever it is. The idea is to create more texture here. I am also mixing my green with the white gouache. With this opaque paint, I can create some nice light green grass on the ground. When I'm painting in a dark area, I'm using paint mixed with white gouache so that it's visible in lighter areas. I'm just using a darker watercolor paint. Notice that all of this is just one big chaos. These are really just random spots and indications of grass blades. Further longer grass blades. I'm using a Designers brush size zero. I want to apply some blue spots here. I mix of ultramarine blue and white gouache will give me the desired color. There is also this tiny little flower. We can also paint it with the help of gouache. I'm mixing Winsor yellow deep with white gouache. And I'm starting by painting the petals in the correct direction around the center of the flower. Then I'm adding some darker browns in the center. And very simply a stem with a dark green. Now when it comes to the rocks, I'm mixing ultramarine blue with burnt sienna. Standard, very helpful mix. I'm applying these two colors on the rocks. I'm painting wet on dry and I'm allowing the colors to mix on the paper. The idea now is to create a bit of texture. So I am applying many dots close to each other. With a darker mix. I'm indicating some more prominent crevices in the rocks. And then using ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and even some permanent rose. I'm adding more colors and texture on the rocks. I want to keep them light so I try not to exaggerate. These rocks are almost white, so I don't want to cover them too much with paint. I'm creating more texture and crevices and other rocks. When they are dry. I'm using a Designers brush again to paint some grasses growing in the front or behind the rocks. Finally, I'm adding more distinct grass blades in the bottom-left corner area. In the reference photo, this corner is blurred, but I thought it would be a good idea to add some grasses here. When everything is totally dry, we can remove the masking fluid from the birds. In the next part, we're going to start painting the puffins. 9. Puffins - First Washes: The entire background is now finished so we can focus on the birds. I think we can start from the lightest elements. So from the belly and the light parts of the head, the belly has around four. If you've seen my lesson on Christmas illustrations and how to paint berries, you know how we can achieve a round form, whether it's a berry, a bird's belly and Apple, or even a round form of a flower stem. The idea is to keep in mind three main areas. The lightest area, the shadow area, and the reflected light area. The reflected light area is especially important because it not only creates a round form, but it also adds that interesting touched to an object. This area can have a totally different color than the object itself. And there is always something magical when it just glows next to the shadow. You will see how to create this effect in a minute. I'm going to use a brush size ten. Now. Let's start by preparing some colors. We need gray, that's for sure. So we can use the colors that we've already used. Burnt sienna, and you guessed it, ultramarine blue. If we mix these two colors on the paper, instead of mixing them on the palette, we can get an even more interesting look. I also keep pure burnt sienna on my palette. First start from applying a water glaze on the belly. We have to paint wet on wet because we want to create smooth and colored transitions. You can go over the pencil lines in the upper part and in the wing area because it will all be black. So we can easily paint over it later. When you wet the belly, start by applying the ultramarine blue muted down by a touch of burnt sienna. Applied the paint creating the shape of a crescent moon. And from now on, try to keep this shape. Imagine that the sun is coming from the upper right corner. So keep that upper right part lighter. In the bottom left side, apply burnt sienna. This will be our reflected light area. We're using burnt sienna because that's the color we used in the background and on the grass behind the bird. So this is the reflected color. Tried to keep everything nice and smooth, blend out any hard edges that may occur. Repeat the process on the other bird. When you are near legs, create a forgotten edge. Just smooth out the edge. We'll come back to that later. Repeat the process also on the cheeks. Apply water first, applied around the yellow spots and the eyes, and drop in some ultramarine blue. Create that nice transition from dark tone to light tone. You can drop in more burnt sienna to make the colors more interesting. When you finish, leave everything to dry. It must be bone dry before we apply another layer. The first layer is now dry. I think it is too light at this point. But in order to decide whether I have to darken it or not, I need a darker reference point. So before I decide I want to paint the dark parts of the bird. For the black, I'm going to use a mix of burnt sienna with Payne's gray. It's always good to mix your own black instead of using a ready-made black. Because it's just much more lively and interesting. Black doesn't have to be just a flat black color. We can shift the hue more towards blue or brown or any other color if we like. I'm also mixing a touch of permanent rose. In this case, I want this black to be slightly purple because I can see some purple highlights. I'm starting by applying a light tone just to map out the colors. I tried to keep within the pencil lines this time. I want to apply this initial layer to know where the dark parts should be. In the next layer, I'm going to darken the color and adjust the hue. Even though we could apply a very dark tone straightaway, it's always better to apply at least two layers or more if there is a need to achieve a dark tone. This way you can gradually adjust the tone and color. And you will also keep the transparency of colors. Sometimes if you use too much pigment, the paint may be shiny when it's dry. It's especially true for the paints made with honey. And that's one of the reasons why I'm not a big fan of honey based paints. So always try to build the dark colors with at least two layers. As you can see along the way, I'm changing the colors. I'm using my permanent rose or burnt sienna or more ultramarine blue. The reference photo is always just to reference. It can inspire us, but we don't have to follow it exactly. I'm mixing ultramarine blue with permanent rose to get that lovely purple. And I'm mixing it with burnt sienna to get a slightly muted purple. I'm using this color on the head. I'm applying a bit of water first because it will allow me to blend the colors a bit smoother. Leave a forgotten edge close to the beak. We can already drop in some darker tones here and there to suggest darker places. Because the surface is dump, the dark color creates a soft edge. Repeat the process on the second bird. The first dark layer is now dry so we can go over it again to darken the tone. This time I'm switching to a softer regular round brush, a size four. I decided to switch to this brush because this brush has software bristles. So when I'm painting over the previously applied paint, it will not wrap the previous layer too much. I just want to gently apply another layer. Again, I'm changing the colors according to what I applied in the previous layer. I'm painting wet on dry because the tone here is so dark that even if I get some hard edges, they won't be too visible. So I don't worry about that. Here on the head, I'm first applying a water glaze because they want to paint wet on wet. Not only because the tones here are much lighter, so every mistake will be more visible. But also because I need to create a gentle, tonal and color blends. Repeat the same process on the other bird. Although I can clearly see the wing here. I think it's there. And we can paint it too. I'm using the negative painting technique to suggest some white feathers. So I'm painting around them. Now when everything is dry, we can assess whether the belly of the bird is dark enough or it's too light. As a thought, it's too light and it needs some darkening. I'm switching back to a size ten brush. I'm preparing more of my color, ultramarine blue, muted down by a touch of burnt sienna and pure burnt sienna. I'm applying a water glaze on the belly. And this time I'm trying not to disturb the dark paint too much because the dark tone may bleed into white areas. I'm dropping in my colors on the wet surface. Notice that I'm just touching the tip of my brush on the surface. I'm using dabbing motions of my brush instead of brushstrokes. The reason for that is because the paint this way is spreading more gently and I have more control over the paint where it's spreading and how much. My objective now is to darken the colors. Keeping in mind that I have to leave that bright brown on the left as a reflected light. I added even a touch of permanent rose on the right-hand side as a link between the purples and blues on the head. And some pinkish areas I painted in the ground. Darken also the cheek of the bird and repeat the process on the other bird. When you finish, leave everything to dry. And in the next part, we're going to paint the beaks and the ice. 10. Beaks and Eyes: We can move on now to add the details. I'm going to use a spider brush size zero. Now, I think it should do the work. Let's start by adding some shadows on the cheeks that we haven't painted yet. There is a subtle shadow on the left-hand side. I'm using ultramarine blue with burnt sienna, a very light tone. It's darker close to the beak and it gets lighter towards the upper part. Here, close to the eye. We also have a shadow and I think it's an important one because it helps to show that unique form of this particular birds had. I'm also adding more gray in the lower part of the cheek. Notice that I'm trying to keep a lighter line close to the dark area. This is also reflected light, which helps us to create the round form. Now I'm shifting to a different color family. I'm going to use Winsor yellow deep to paint the first layer on this yellow spot. Now I'm mixing Winsor yellow deep with Winsor red. This makes, gives us a nice orange, which will work great for the beak and for the legs. I'm carefully painting the beak, leaving those characteristic white lines and painted. If you make a mistake and paint over those white lines, don't worry at all. We can add them later with white gouache. This is just an initial wash, so it's not the final color yet, but I'm using a light version of the final color. The same oranges also in the eye. So we can use this color to paint the iris. Now with the ultramarine blue, I'm painting the blue part of the beak. Notice that there is a Tomoko transition from dark to light. Play the dark tone first, then the rings and block your brush and try to blend it out. In the bottom part, there is also a touch of permanent rose. To darken the blue, use Payne's gray. Whenever I see a color or tunnel transition, I tried to use wet on wet technique. But in such small areas like here, I think we can easily paint it wet on dry. We can also add some darker lines on the beak close to those white lines. I'm using here a mix of orange with ultramarine blue. When the eye is dry, we can finish it by adding the darkest elements. I switched here to a triple zero brush and I'm applying a light tone of Payne's gray, creating that triangular shape of the eye. In the upper part of the iris, there is a highlight. So try to paint around it. But if you paint over it or if you leave the white spot in the wrong place and the AI will look weird, don't worry. Cover it with dark paint. And later we will add a white spot with the white gouache. Go over the dark tones with another layer of Payne's gray to darken the tone. Add some details on the yellow spot. There are some orange lines in a subtler shadow below it. I'm also adjusting the shadows. They are not dark enough in some areas. Now repeat the process on the other bird. And when you finish, take a break. In the next part, we're going to finish the painting. 11. Legs: Finally, it's time for the legs. As you can see, I have some hard edges here. So before I move on to paint the legs, I want to soften those edges. I'm just rubbing them gently with my damp scrubber brush and I'm removing the paint with a tissue. I think I'm going to use a spotter brush size to be using the same orange as for the beak. So a mix of Winsor yellow deep and Winsor red, depending on how much yellow or red I'm using, I can shift the color more towards yellow or red, allow for that kind of color change down to paint a flat orange. If there is such interplay between two colors, it will look much more interesting. We're applying now the first, initial glaze. It's the main local color upon which we're going to build a deeper tones and some shadows. When you apply the paint, leave it to dry completely. The first layer is now bone dry. Let's prepare colors for the second layer. We're going to need our orange again, some mix of Winsor yellow, deep, Winsor red. But this time we also need something darker. We need to create a shadow of this orange. In order to create a shadow color, we can use an opposite color on the color wheel. The opposite color to orange is blue. So I'm preparing a second puddle with a mix of Winsor yellow and Winsor red. So my orange and I'm adding ultramarine blue to my mix. Ultramarine blue as an opposite color, will mute down the orange and darken it a bit. That will work perfectly as a shadow color. Let's use our shadow orange. Now. I'm starting from the upper part of the legs. There are some white feathers. So using the negative painting technique, I am creating a few feathers there by painting around them. On the food too, we can see three web the toes. The three toes are lighter and the web between them is darker. Thanks to that change in tone, we can create the form of the food. I'm painting wet and dry. I'm playing my shadow color, and then I'm filling the rest with my orange. I'm also dropping in more shadow color while the paint is still wet. We just want to darken these triangular shapes between toes. Pinto. So a shadow on the leg, on the left-hand side and suggest some folds. Toes without shadows look flat. So in order to create a bit more round form, we also have to apply subtle shadows on them. So as you can see, I'm just applying darker and darker color until I achieved the desired darkness of the orange. Sometimes it's quite difficult to describe what I'm doing exactly because as you can see, I'm skipping from one place to another and I'm doing this intuitively. When I darken one area, I noticed that another place should be darker too. So it's a process of constant adjustments. Now we also need a black for the pulse. So mixed burnt sienna with Payne's gray. Use this color to paint the pulse. Now repeat the process on the legs of another bird. Start with darker shadows to know where the darks should go, and then adjust the tones according to the reference photo. When you finish the legs, take a look at the ground below. Shouldn't it be a bit darker? In my case, I decided to add some more dark texture under defeat. This dark color is also a shadow which helps to ground the birds. There is one more thing I have to do with a white gouache and a tiny triple zero brush. I'm going to add a white highlight in the eyes. I also want to paint white lines on the beak because I've lost some of them while I was painting. And I think I can call it finished. I hope you enjoyed the videos. It was a real pleasure to paint these little funny birds. I hope you'll give them a go. And thank you very much for watching.