Loose Watercolour Birds

When I finished painting the blue tit I showed you in my last post, I decided I wanted to try and paint it in a loser style.


I looked for a tutorial on YouTube to help me and came across one by Tom Sheppard. It was part of a series on loose birds, so I decided to start with the first episode; painting a raven. In my first attempt I got it all too wet…20200620_20342600

The second was better, but not great…


…. and the third not much better…


I then moved into the second tutorial for an avocet. I painted a rubbish bird, then made a a right hash attempting to add a background. I then  made it worse trying to improve the background…


The third tutorial was for a magpie. I’m not fond of magpies and I was fed up with painting near black birds, so I skipped to episode four; a flamingo. This was a bit of a step change on the colours front, so I practiced on an unstretched piece of paper…


… and then used stretched paper…

I think I prefer the practice piece.

Then I tried to add a background and made it worse…


A long way to go, but that’s my progress to far and all those birds definitely helped improve my understanding of control of wet on wet watercolour and learn a few things about backgrounds.

And if you’re wondering, the blue tit is episode eight, so I may be a while before I get to that.*

Until next time,

Bekki x

Update: Here’s the blue tit…


13 thoughts on “Loose Watercolour Birds

  1. You are learning so much as you go along and it’s good that you don’t seem to be discouraged when it doesn’t work out quite how you wanted but keep trying. That’s how we end up producing something to be proud of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Absolutely – wet on wet watercolour does want to do it’s own thing, so it’s very much about learning to work with it and accepting that you can make a complete hash of things. But as you say, it’s all learning. Defintely felt this was a ‘warts and all post!


    1. Thanks. Glad I’m entertaining and encouraging 😊 It’s funny, we all want to be perfect the minute we start something new, which is actually quite ridiculous. How can we when we’re only just learning what to do?


    1. You stretch the paper, because – as I’m sure you know – if you make paper wet it buckles. So stretching allows your paper to stay flat when wet, rather than forming a mountain range 🙂 and all the pigment running into the valleys. You can sometines get away without stretching if you’re using minimal amounts of water and tape it down, but it’s always a risk and the unstretched flamingo did buckle a little.

      Liked by 1 person

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