Seven steps to painting a hedgehog

Seven steps to painting a hedgehog

As the nights are drawing in and Autumn is upon us I thought it about time to paint another hedgehog as he snuffles around getting ready for winter. I hope you find my step by step guides interesting whether you intend to have a go or just interested in my process

Step 1

I draw a simple sketch and thinly mask out the whiskers with masking fluid. I also splash some masking fluid around to add some texture to the finished piece. I find just throwing it at the paper helps. ( I have never been noted for my neatness!)

Step 2 

Unusually for me I started with his little snout. I wanted it to look shiny and wet. I used blue and cadmium red. I used some burnt umber and cobalt blue, and then for the very dark darks I never use black but a mixture of indigo and sepia.

Step 3


I use tiny brushes and try to get the colours to merge, but it takes a lot of practice, and a lot of looking to understand what you are painting.Now I move onto the eye with the same level of detail.

Step 4.

Always leave a speck of white in the eye I don't use masking fluid for this as I want soft edges, but when you are starting out you might want to as it can be tricky controlling tiny amounts of water. 

Step 5

Now I can get a lot looser. I turn the painting upside down as the spikes face away from the hedgehog, never be afraid to pick up your painting and manipulate the water, but just be aware if you like what is happening then keep it still, as moving it around will change it. The more you do things the more confident you will be .

Step 6.

So to create the texture and the spikes I work wet in wet with a mixture of cobalt blue and cadmium red. The whole hedgehog is very wet and I drop colours into it where I think they work best.

Step 7

Finishing touches. I like to flick some white acrylic to add more texture on the spikes, as well as some darker purple. I have added a suggestion of leaves ,some splashes and flicks. I now need to leave him  and come back when it is completely dry, to rub of the masking fluid and let the paper settle down . I can tweak him a bit and hey presto he is done !


  • Halinka

    I absolutely fascinated by all your paintings, and I tried tonight this hedgehog – thank you for sharing your work.

  • Gloria Howey

    I love hedgehogs. I’m going to try your tutorial today. Thank you for sharing!

  • Emily

    Fantastic art work and Thanku for sharing your teqhnic xx


    Your style of painting is my favourite and I would love to be able to paint so loosely, I usually overdo it. At least I have found out about splashing masking fluid!

  • Sara

    It would be fascinating to watch you in action. Do you ever film yourself painting? The process of wet into wet and watching the paint mix on the paper is a joy to see.
    I love the hedgehog.

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