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Instruction for Beginner Watercolor Bluebird 

Here is the reference photo I used to create this painting.

bluebird reference photo

My palette of colors here is: Ultra Marine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Neutral Tint (neutral tint is a transparent black), and Raw Umber. You can use most any colors and it will work fine. The white on the bird is simply the white of the paper left white.

Here is the simple sketch for painting. Transfer the sketch to your watercolor paper. For best results, use 140# watercolor paper purchased in sheets and separated into smaller sheets to fit your frame. To print the sketch, right click on the sketch choose "Save Image As," and then open and print the image.


Begin painting by wetting the whole bird with clean water. Wet, but not puddles. Base the bird with a light wash matching the colors in the picture.

Bluebird based

Again wash the whole bird in matching colors, this time using a darker value of each color. Also at this time wash in the fence post the bluebird is standing on with a light wash of raw umber.

first detail

In the final step, you will define the areas of the bird again matching colors with again a darker value of the colors. The eye should have a small white highlight. The bluebird's feet are painted neutral tint and the post is detailed with neutral tint. (see final image below)

final image of bluebird

This is a very beginner project, please enjoy painting it.



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