27 Oct 2011Mont Marte Blog

Create a fairy wren watercolour painting

Exploring Mont Marte Watercolours and learning some great techniques by painting a simple image of a Fairy Wren.

Step 1: Drawing

On the last page of this PDF you will find the line drawing for this lesson, you can draw your own design or transfer the image provided on to the Watercolour Paper using the Tracing Paper.

Step 2: Background Wash

Turn your drawing upside down. Then using the 50mm Taklon Brush, apply a strip of Medium Yellow along the top of the paper. Dampen your brush and move it back and forth down the paper, continually adding more water as you go. By the time you reach the bottom of the page there should be almost no pigment. Then before the wash dries, pad out the pigment inside the bird with a tissue.

Step 3: Layering Brown Washes

Using watered down Ochre, paint in all of the stalks. Then paint ¾ of the stalks with a mixture of 1 part Ochre and 1 part Umber. Finally paint the shadow side of the stalks with the pure Umber.

Step 4: Dropping in Colour With clean water paint in a flower. While this is still wet drop in Brilliant Red around the edge and leave in to dry. Then paint over the entire flower with a light wash of Phthalo. Paint the centre of each flower in Sap green then pad it with a tissue to remove the excess pigment.

Step 5: Layering Washes and Texture

Create a watery Phthalo and paint in the entire bird. Then build up layers of Ultramarine, darkening around the edges to make it look 3D. Create a watery mix of Crimson and glaze it over the Ultramarine, this gives it warmth. Finally lay in the Black markings.

Step 6: Detailing

Paint in the legs with a dirty grey made from Medium Yellow, Brilliant Red and Black in equal Parts. Paint in the primary feathers and eye with pure Black. Lastly paint Chinese White on areas of the legs and on the eye as an extra highlight.

Material List

  • PMHS0027 Watercolour Paints Signature 12pc x 12ml (0.41 US fl.oz)
  • MSB0065 Watercolour Pad German Paper Premium A3 300gsm 12 Sheet
  • MCG0008 Oval Plastic Palette Discovery 34 x 25cm (13.3 x 9.8in)
  • MAA0012 Sketch Board Signature 18 x 18in (45.7cm)
  • MSB0016 Tracing Paper Pad Signature 60gsm A3 40 Sheet
  • MPB0090 Artist Watercolour Brush Premium Traditional Mop 4
  • MPB0055 Artist Acrylic Brush Premium Taklon Flat Wide 50mm (1.98in)
  • MPN0026 Drawing Set Signature 8pc

Extra Materials 

  • Water 
  • Tissues

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