Top 5 Steps to Drawing a Simple Bird for Beginners

Creating a new painting can be challenging, motivating, rewarding, and even frustrating. However, an artist is not limited to paper and watercolors. They make royalty free illustration images that are not only rewarding but also motivating for a better step ahead. 

But whatever stage you’re in with your art, just relax and start the journey.

The excitement starts with a vision of the finished painting in mind. And today, we are starting with the painting of a simple bird.


Use H-pencil and a good quality sketchpad plus any reference photographs to initiate. Do a rough idea on a sketchpad to ensure with the composition you want to go ahead.

Then proceed to trace over your design sketch using 640g H/P watercolor paper. This makes it easier to move things around to get the best perspective.


Once you finish-up the drawing, begin working on birds using watercolors. For Galahs, use a hint of Permanent Rose together with Opera.

For grey feathers, use Cobalt Blue, Red Brown & Titanium White. Paint main subjects first. Choose contrasting colors for the middle and the background areas.


As the painting nears completion, you get a clearer picture of what finished paintings look like. At this stage, you can make necessary adjustments to the foreground if it is needed. Further, you can add more flowers and birds to the picture.


Now, use reference photographs to notice the play of light on the feathers of each bird. Begin adding shaded and lighted areas. This section is more time-consuming as there is a lot of detail in the feathers. You can go over some shaded areas with Dark Cobalt and Violet.

Use a pencil to build layers. Polycolors are ideal for building and the first and subsequent layers.


This is the perfect time to introduce more subtle colors to increase intensity. You can now see the contrast between the birds’ colors and the color in the background at the beginning. Apply more pressure to your pencils that will help achieve a deeper tone.


Here, you add the final touch to the picture. Paint sky and clouds using Light Blue, Prussian Blue, and Violet. Use more watercolors and pencils to go with some extras like a garden seat. Here, you can use Dark Sepia, Cool Grey, and cool silver grey for coloring seats. You can also add small strokes of titanium white to make the wood grains.

Use Paris Blue, Gold Ochre, Grey Green, Hookers Green, And Light Chrome for Grassy middle and background.

Lastly, you can set aside the painting for a few days then come back and look at it with your fresh eyes. Further, make tiny adjustments if needed.

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