04 Nov 2022Mont Marte
Drawing Intermediate Painting Pens watercolour

How to draw a stylised bird with watercolour and ink pens

The first step is to transfer the outline of the bird. You can find the printable outline and reference image on the project webpage. Print the outline and shade the backside using the 2H pencil. Flip it over, tape it to the sheet of watercolour paper and retrace the outline with the pencil. 

Then, draw over the linework with the 0.3mm fine liner in the set. Once done, draw a thicker line around the outside of the outline using the 1.0mm fine liner. 

When adding colour, we chose to apply it in blocks rather than blending to create a graphic art look. The water brush included in the set gives a variety of strokes so it will be perfect for the project. The colours in this set aren’t named, so we suggest you make a little colour chart, so you understand the colours mentioned throughout the project.  

Fill the brush with clean water and create light blue grey using a touch of black and sky blue. Lay this colour into the top side of the beak.  

For his project, it’s best to begin painting from the top and work down the piece, this way the back of your hand doesn’t touch the wet paint and cause smudging. 

Once the beak is done, add the cerulean blue colour into the crest. Paint the band across the head with ultramarine blue, followed by a turquoise band. Differing tones of the same colour can be laid into adjacent blocks to add more interest.  

Create a mix of ultramarine blue with a touch of black and below the previous one extending from the eye. 

Lay in the light orange colour the eye. Darken the colour slightly with some red and paint the block under the light orange. 

Lay some more turquoise into the block under the orange and extend it across to the wing. 

Paint the ultramarine blue and fade it outward to the bottom of the wing. Paint the primary wings with the turquoise colour. 

Lay in the darker orange colour over the lighter tone in spots to create more interest. Then, use this colour to paint the underside of the bird. 

Next, paint the legs and feet in with straight orange.

Paint the eye black, leaving a highlight free of colour. 

Lastly, paint the branch with a wash of brown. 

And, you’re all done!


  • MSB0131 Cotton Watercolour Paper Block Premium 300gsm A4 (11.7 x 8.3in) 12 Sheet
  • PMHS0036 Watercolour Half Pan Set Premium 28pc
  • MMPM0025 Graphic Fineliners Set Premium 7pc 
  • MPN0026 Drawing Set Signature 8pc

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Outline and reference image Print project