Northern Parula with Watercolor Pencils Step-by-Step

A key to success with watercolor pencils is to apply a base coat of local color (the hue of the object) with dry pencils. Then add water to smooth and blend the colors. Let the page dry, then add shadows and details with dry pencils. The water is applied in the middle of the drawing,

The New Bird Drawing System (video)

For years I have taught the same system to quickly draw birds in the field. Over the last few months my approach has changed radically. I think I can now get you drawing better birds with fewer lines. This refined system will help you get the basic bird shapes with less trouble and will avoid some

Blue Grosbeak & Watercolor Washes

Paint a Grosbeak with Watercolor! The Blue Grosbeak is a stunning bird with rich colors, a delight to paint. Use this bird as a study to practice using flat washes to build up colors. Download and print the line drawing and paint over it. This way you will not worry about messing up a drawing

Fast Wing Details

Try a white colored pencil on dry watercolor for fast wing details. Bird wing feathers often have pale lines along the edges of the primaries and secondaries. Click on the first image to start a step-by-step slideshow demonstration to get this effect in seconds. Materials used: Sepia prismacolor pencil, White prismacolor pencil, watercolors (Daniel Smith).

How to draw a Red-eyed Verio Step-by-Step

Know more than you Show One of the secrets to a successful bird illustration its to understand bird anatomy, and then suggest detail without noodling in every feather location. To accurately draw feathers, you must understand feather groups and wing structure. I think the best book on the subject is Birding Basics by David Sibley (also

Drawing Birds: Heads, Wings, & Feet (video workshop)

Are you ready to draw birds? When the bird lands in front of you, you must be ready to get the basic form on paper with a few lines. This was the focus of last month’s workshop which you can view here. But what do you do then? Once you have this basic shape you

Drawing Birds: side, front, back and 3/4 views (video workshop)

Would you like to sketch the birds at your feeder and garden? Learn basic techniques to get the bird on paper while it is still in front of you and how to fill out the drawing from memory and reference once it has flown the coop. In this workshop we explore drawing songbrids from the side,

How to paint a Sandhill Crane landscape, step-by-step

The big lesson behind this demonstration is flowing from one sketch to another as live birds move before you. Do not get hung up trying to finish one sketch. If your bird moves, start a second, and then a third, right there on the same page. You do not have to finish any of the sketches.

How to Draw a Sandhill Crane: Basic Lines

How can you capture the basic shape of a crane in a few critical simple lines?  Here we explore a wonderful trick for sketching sandhill cranes that you can use to draw moving mammals and large birds. This technique involves first drawing the line of the back and then hanging the body and head  masses