How to paint avocets in 5 easy steps

How to paint avocets in 5 easy steps

Hi I have been painting a lot of estuary birds recently and one of my favourite subjects are avocets. They are elegant , long legged, black and white wading birds.When painting them I always think less is more.....

Step one

Draw the birds , get them in a pleasing pose and because the painting is going have a limited palette I want the drawing of the to be as accurate as possible

Step two

The eyes, although very small I still need to get them to look like living creatures. i need to get some light in the eyes so the birds come alive

Step 3 

Now I can carefully work on the body. I wet the paper so when I add the black it bleeds a bit into the white., this makes the feathers look more realistic. I have to be very careful, too much water and it bleeds too much not enough and it effect doesn't work. Then once it is dry it is important to add shadow to the body too. To turn a flat image into a bird shape


The legs also need to be carefully painted

Now repeat for the second bird.....

Step five

I like to add a bit of background with these birds to give the impression of them wading about in the water looking for dinner and so my painting is done


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1 comment

I love these birds, and your simple painting of them is really lovely; I’m going to have a go!


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