In December, I put several plans in my calendar. One of these plans is the goal of putting several tutorials online every week. Today I started right away with the good intention. Paint with me 3 little owls on a stick (Tutorial)
This tutorial is with photo explanation.
- Watercolor paper
- Round brush size 2 or thinner (0 – 000)
- SAKURA Pigma Micron fineliner size 003
- SAKURA Gelly-Roll 10 (Gel pen)
- Pencil and eraser
- Watercolor black, yellow and brown for the owls, green for the twig
- Clean cloth to clean your brush
If you use another fineliner, at least make sure it is waterproof. Instead of the white gel pen, you can also use white gouache.
The paints I used to make these 3 owls on a stick tutorial:
- Ivory Black from Winsor & Newton
- G409 (Burnt umber) from Van Gogh
- G735 (Oxide black) from Van Gogh
- G227 (Yellow ochre) by Van Gogh
- For the twig, I used various greens.
Paper I used:
I myself painted on handmade Khadi paper from India this time. This paper is 320 gms and it is on a6 size (postcard size)
Tips before you start
- Every time you use a new coat of paint, clean your brush with clean water. Pat it dry, and then pick up your paint with your brush.
- Rather work with a few more layers than too few. You can use wet-on-wet technique which allows the paint to easily run into each other, or wet-on-dry. Then you let the layer dry completely before painting the new layer.
- Always work from light to dark.
- There is no right or wrong! Have fun and if something goes a little differently than you wanted: embrace it with love! Everything is a learning process.
Step 1: Create your outline with pencil
You’re going to decide where exactly you want the owls, and how many owls you want on a stick. Pairs of three are generally the prettiest, but mostly draw what you want. For example, you could choose an owl for each brother or sister, or whatever family makeup you have.
First, draw the stick. Then the outline of the owl and then where the eyes will be, the top of a heart. At the bottom a light line.
Make different outs, long short, big eyes, small eyes, for a fun variation.
Step 2: Finalize your outline with fineliner
When you have finally decided how you want the owls on a stick, you are going to trace them over with fineliner. Again, just the outline. The details will come later!
After you are done with your fineliner, you can erase all pencil lines.
Step 3: The first layer, light yellow
The first layer will be very light. Mix relatively little paint with a lot of water, and color all your outlines completely. Some color difference here and there is totally fine!
Step 4: The second layer, light brown
The next layer will be light brown. It is better to work with a few more layers than to paint too dark at once. You are always working from light to dark so consider which parts of the owls you want to keep light, such as the belly and parts of the head.
Make the legs clearly visible by painting the triangle dark in the middle, and the wings abroad. Also make dark circles around the eyes, and on top of the head.
Between layers, it is not a problem if the paint is not completely dry yet. Below you can see how the paint runs, and that gives a nice effect.
Step 5: The third layer with oxide black and brown
Be careful not to use too much black at once, or you will immediately undo all the previous layers. Take a very small amount on your brush with little water and dab it on the places you want it. (do not smudge)
If you don’t have oxide black, you can mix the brown you have with a little black to make it slightly darker. Besides that, you can vary with brown anyway. You can also put some stripes on the chest (not too dark) to mimic the owl’s feathers.
Step 6: Coloring the twig
Leave the owls alone for a while to allow the paint to dry slightly. In the meantime, you can paint the branch with green. I mixed several kinds of green. On the bottom also a little brown to make it a little darker.
Step 7: another layer of brown for the owls (optional)
If you are still not satisfied with the color differences of your owls you can now apply another layer.
Step 8: The eyes & details with fineliner
Once the paint on the heads is dry, you can color in the eyes. I did this with black paint, but you could also use your fineliner if that gives you more security.
With the fineliner you can accentuate the lines, draw feathers, apply shadows with dots, etc. Apply e.g. an eyelash to the eyes as below:
Step 9: Apply the final details with white gel pen
In this last step you are going to apply the details with your white gel pen. Be sure your gel pen is working properly. Sometimes it will dry out a little after use and you will get too big a blob when you use it. So draw some lines on a separate sheet of paper before you start working on your owls.
Using your gel pen, apply the final details to the chest, wings and tail. I do this by placing a dot and immediately wipe it away with a finger. This way you have some highlights but not bright white like the dots near the eyes. This was your last step: now you’re done!
What did you think of it?
I’m really curious to see how your owls on a stick turned out! Will you show it to me?
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