How do you decorate after the holidays? I mean, between now and Spring. Do you use branches? Snowmen? Or just let it go until March?
It always feels so bare, so stark after the holidays, doesn’t it? This year I decided to use natural branches, a little greenery and birds to fill in the blank spaces.
I love using red to warm up my home, especially during the winter, so I did this Cardinal Tutorial.
Here’s the line art. I’ll put it into PDF later today, along with all the paint instructions.
You’re welcome to use the line art for painting or anything else you want – a coloring page, maybe? – just provide a link back to here, please.
Basecoat the bird with Red. Any bright red will work.
It will probably take 2 coats. I painted this on watercolor paper, and it definitely took 2 coats.
Paint the beak with a light coral/orange/tangerine-kind of color. Or even gold would work.
I mixed red with gold because I was too lazy to walk 5 steps to get the color I wanted.
Now, for the shading. I used Dark Burnt Umber, which is a really deep brown-almost black. You could also use Charcoal. But I prefer deep brown.
Add the detailing as I drew on the line art, including the beak. It will look dark – really dark. Don’t freak out. You’ll add a topcoat in a minute.
For the bird’s tummy, I added some glaze to the paint to get a more translucent shading. If you don’t have FolkArt Floating Medium yet, you can add a little water to your paint and work your brush thru it.
But as soon as you can, get some Floating Medium. You won’t be sorry. Promise!
I have loads of Spring freebies coming . . . and some of them use Floating Medium . . . I’m just sayin’. (No, I don’t get any $ from Plaid for saying this.)
This is a closeup of the ‘feather’ detailing. Nothing spectacular or real artsy – just get the paint on there.
Now for the topcoat. I used Ceramcoat Barn Red. Any shade deeper than your basecoat will work.
You can paint the entire bird, but I left a section just under the wing the basecoat. It just adds a little contrast that way.
But do you see how the topcoat camouflages the shading?
Last step – take a tiny bit of white and add 2 dots to the ‘eye’ and 2 dots to the beak.
Here’s the whole painting. This pattern will be available on my website later. But you get the red cardinal tutorial for free here.
The cardinals will be available for a Paint Party, if you live in the Sacramento area.
One more note: if you truly think this is beyond you – and I promise it’s NOT! – tomorrow I’ll post a KISS Cardinal Painting. (KISS = Keep It So Simple)