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How to Paint Feathers in watercolor! Have you been wanting to try this hot new trend? I know I have and I’m excited to write up this tutorial for you, so you can give it a try too! Be sure to follow me HERE on Pinterest, and pin your favorite images below so you can find this tutorial again later!
How to Paint Feathers in Watercolor
Before getting started be sure to check out this quick video:
What brushes to use to paint a watercolor feather
Any of these brushes would be great; but I use the ones in the supply list below in this particular video.
Watercolor Feather Tutorial Supplies:
- Liner Brush
- Size 2 Brush
- I use this brush, but this would work great and it’s a LOT less!
- Watercolor Paints Holbein Lilac W317
- Gouache Paints Moss Green,
- DS Pink
- Dark Purple
- White Gouache
- Canson XL Paper
- Printable to trace or print (download below)
- Colored Pencils
- Bright Pad Tracing Pad
Be sure to check out these fun posts while you’re here!
- Favorite Brushes Post
- Best Gifts for Watercolorists
- Best White Pen for Watercolor
- Professional Starter Set
I put a very small amount of fresh paint out onto my Palette for this project. Make sure you only use a teeny bit!
I love using my paper trimmer to cut down my paper when I do warm up paintings like these.
I did have some paint already on my palette that was dry, and I added a couple more colors.
Brushes, paper towel, watercolor and gouache paint and paper. Be sure to add a LOT of water to your paint.
In the video; you can really see how much water I put onto the paper! You can see here I started out by drawing in the basic shape of my feather.
Add a few little wispies to the bottom of your feather.
While the paint is still really we add in some of your darker pink.
You can leave it alone or use your brush to move the pigment around a little bit.
Step back and see if you think it needs more contrast.
I decided to add in some darker purple for interest.
You can really see how much water is really on my paper still in this photo.
The longest part of the whole process was waiting for the paint to dry! It took over 30 min.
Use your liner brush to add a central line down the feather.
This particular brush I especially love because it holds a lot of paint and also keeps my line steady.
Once the center line is drawn, you can add additional lines with the same brush.
I added them in random sets all along my feather.
Next we’re going to use the Gouache and paint small triangles back onto the feather to look like wispy little gaps.
I like to always use this paint fresh from the tube; I find the coverage to be best when it’s super thoroughly wet, but not soupy.
Start painting little triangles.
Using a neon, or bright colored pencil, lightly color some accents onto your feather.
You can use the pencil to help shape the white triangles into better shapes.
Add a few more triangle wherever you need.
Download the tracing or printing sheets below and use them to paint a sheet of feathers just like these!
I love the way the little white dots look on these watercolor feathers too!
Realistic watercolor feathers
Looking to paint realistic watercolor feathers? You can use the same technique, but focus on earth tone paint colors instead of the jewel tones I used in this tutorial. Try out lots of different combinations and see which ones you love the best!