Feathered Friends in Watercolor

Ahh, those fluffy feathers!  I have been having fun this week painting birds. In my last post I shared with you my first Pink Flamingo that I painted in my 7×10 inch watercolor sketchbook. I decided to try it again but paint larger and use a few different techniques. When working on smalls, I think I tighten up a bit so I decided to go with a 9×12 inch painting on this one.

I started out with a sketch in pencil to get my shape and placement. Remember that the positioning (and size) of the head, eye and beak are all very important. For feathers, I start with light color and work up to bolder colors. When working on the small detail of the eye, I use either a small rigger, liner, or round brush. I used my new Princeton round #2 brush this time. I really love that brush!!

Below is an in progress view of my feathered friend.

Pink Flamingo watercolor in progress
Pink Flamingo watercolor in progress

Watercolor techniques:

When the paint was damp, I tossed a little regular table salt on the neck and body area. Later when it was completely dry, I dusted off the salt. I was hoping it would give me some nice texture and an interesting look. I really like the results I got using the salt.

I also tried to use some expressive brush strokes with my larger round brush for the body feathers and used different shades of pink mixed with just a touch of red and orange here and there. I moved the brush around loosely pulling it in the direction that the feathers would be on the body.

While the painting was still damp I spattered some paint on it. I tried using a toothbrush as I’ve seen others demonstrate but I always seem to have trouble getting that spatter where I want it. I ended up using my round brush loaded with juicy color and then tapped it here and there over the painting, that worked for me.

This is the final painting below.

Pink Flamingo watercolor
Pink Flamingo watercolor

I hope you enjoy seeing my work and are inspired to keep painting and having fun. If you would like to receive notifications of new posts by email, simple click the follow button on the right. I would love to have you follow me on this journey!

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Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

Oh my Daisy

I’ve always loved daisies, they are one of my favorite flowers. I have a few different varieties in my garden. Here is a quick watercolor painting from my 7×10 mixed media sketchbook.

Daisy watercolor
Yellow Daisies

A simple composition and sketch with pen.  I love the daisies here but wish the leaves were a brighter green.

Painting notes:
Daniel Smith watercolors
Winsor & Newton watercolors
Black micron pen .05
Round #10 watercolor brush

Watercolor tips and notes:

  • Change your rinse water when it gets cloudy, that may have been why my greens aren’t as bright as I would have liked.
  • Don’t overwork it. I think I stopped early enough on this one but I have to always remind myself of this.
  • Be careful with the amount of water you use on the mixed media paper.  Try to avoid puddles and very watery washes because the paper will wrinkle and buckle up.
  • Keep in mind that the more you paint and practice, the better your paintings will become.  This was probably the best advice given to me by my watercolor instructors.

Happy Painting!

– Patty Anne –

Pink Dogwood Tree

The Pink Dogwood tree in my yard is in full bloom.  It is such a beauty!
This is watercolor painting #364 from my 7×10 Mixed Media sketchbook – inspired by my Pink Dogwood tree.

Pink Dogwood Tree in Bloom
Pink Dogwood Tree in Bloom

A few tips and notes:

  • Mixed media paper doesn’t handle as much water and pigment as watercolor paper.
  • It was difficult to get the fun mingling of colors in the watercolor washes on this paper.
  • After the painting dried, I ended up liking it more than when I was working on it.
  • I need to push myself to use brighter colors and washes.

Happy Painting!

-Patty Anne-




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