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DIY Hummingbird Watercolor Painting

Today we're diving into the vibrant world of watercolor painting with this delightful hummingbird painting. Whether you're an experienced artist or a beginner looking to explore your creative side, this step by step guide includes lots of tips and tricks to make your work look fabulous. Brighten up your walls with this cute little hummingbird painting. It's the perfect summer project!





1.) GATHER YOUR MATERIALS

The best part about this painting is that you don't have to use just watercolor paints. those can be a challenge when you are only using basic watercolor paints, but the fun part about this project is that I use watercolor pencils. Have you heard of them before? They are fabulous and they work great. All you need to do is color the way you would normally color with a colored pencil, and then use a water color brush to paint water over the top. This mixes the pigment together and creates a painted look. Here are all of the supplies listed below that I used for this painting, and they are all linked so you can find them all on Amazon.


  • Canvas Board

    • I used a Canson brand mixed media board that I cut to size, but you can get some that are already cut to size, and then you don't have to mess around with a ruler and utility knife. The one I have linked is already an 8"x10" size, which is the size that I used for this project.

  • Carbon Paper

    • Have you heard of this little invention called carbon paper? It's awesome and works great to transfer your image to your painting surface. If you don't want to have to mess around with hand drawing your image, you just tape your carbon paper to your board (dull side facing up towards you) then you tape your image you want to trace to the carbon paper.

  • Print out of Hummingbird (see below for download)

    • See the image below and download to your computer. Print out a black and white image and scale it to fit your 8"x10" canvas board.

  • Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

    • There are a lot of brands out there, but Prismacolor is the best in my opinion. Their pigments are really vibrant, and there is a noticeable difference compared to other brands I have used.

  • Watercolor brush set

  • Prismacolor Regular Colored Pencils

    • You will also need regular colored pencils. I used a standard light blue and white colored pencil for the background colors.

  • Metallic Watercolors

    • Have you tried out metallic watercolors yet? They are fabulous! They add that extra iridescence to your painting.

  • Posca Pens ( .07mm size liner pens in black, white, gold, and silver)

  • Florescent Paint Pens (smaller liner pens in a .07mm size)

  • Flatback Rhinestones & Glue

    • This is the set that I purchased for this project. It comes with the glue so you don't have to worry about buying that separate.

  • 11x14" Photo Matt

  • 11x14" Frame for your Art

    • The one I have linked comes with the matt already in it, so you would not have to buy those separate.

  • Miscellaneous items needed: ruler, utility knife, mechanical pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, masking tape


2.) CUT YOUR CANVAS BOARD

If you did not buy a pre-cut 8"x10" canvas board, you will need to cut one to size using a ruler and a utility knife. Make sure you cut over a piece of cardboard. Use your ruler as a straight edge to make sure you get a clean cut. Also use a fresh utility blade, this will ensure that your canvas cuts cleanly. I used the Canson brand that you can get at any Hobby Lobby. They work great and you get more board for your buck. It comes in large 16"x20" sheets, so you can use it for multiple projects. If you don't want the hassle though, just go ahead and get yourself a pre-cut board. I have the link above under the supplies.



3.) ATTACH YOUR CARBON PAPER AND YOUR IMAGE

Next you will want to cut your carbon paper to size and use regular masking tape to tape the image on the top and sides to your canvas board. Make sure you have the dull side facing up and the carbon side facing down. Otherwise you will only transfer the image to the back of your printout, not the physical board. Once you have your carbon paper taped you will want to print out your image and attach that with masking tape over the top of your carbon paper. Here is the image for you. You can right click on it, save to your desktop and print on your at home printer. I created this image using Chat GPT & Adobe Illustrator so you are free to use this image for your own personal creation. Otherwise feel free to come up with whatever image you would like as long as it fits in an 8"x10" size.

Hummingbird Drawing

4.) TRACE YOUR HUMMINGBIRD

Once you have your image attached to the top of your carbon paper, you are ready to trace. I just used a mechanical pencil for this. I find that to be the easiest way because you can still see where you trace over the black ink. Do the best you can here. There is no right or wrong way to trace this. Some people might want to do every little detail, and others might want to just outline the basic shapes. I did not try to shade anywhere there is shading. I kept my lines pretty simple for the most part so I could use my watercolor colored pencils for the rest.


Once you feel you have done a good job of tracing the image, go ahead and gently peel off both the image and the carbon paper from the top of your canvas board. The masking tape should come up pretty easy, but be careful not to rip your canvas board.



5.) COLOR YOUR HUMMINGBIRD WITH WATERCOLOR PENCILS

This is the fun part. feel free to use whatever colors you want. I love the Prismacolor watercolor pencils because they have a nice saturated pigment and work well. I am not endorsed by them, I just love their product and have been using it for years, so I know you can trust their pencils to be of the best quality.


When coloring, I went with the colors associated with an Anna's Hummingbird, because those are my favorite, and also I planned to give mine to my beautiful sister-in-law Anna, so this was something special for her. You can use whatever colors you want for this though. There is no right or wrong way to color. You can go off of a specific hummingbird species or you can just come up with what ever colors you like, it doesn't have to be true to nature, it can just be the color palette you love most. You can get as creative as you want with this. I wanted to go with a bold color palette so I chose to do lots of bright colors.


6.) PAINT YOUR HUMMINGBIRD

The cool part about watercolor pencils is once you are finished coloring your image, you can use a watercolor paint brush and some water to paint over the top. This blends the colors together nicely and turns your drawing into a beautiful painting. Some of your colors will blend together and that's great. If you need more of a certain color, let the painting dry and go back in color more with your watercolor pencils.


For this project I also accented my hummingbird with metallic watercolor paints. This gives an iridescent finish to your painting. I love that affect and it really made my bird pop. I would add the metallic paints as a layer on top of your other watercolor pencils. Maybe you want to accent the wings, or maybe you want to accent the flowers with the metallic paints. This is all up to your own creative interpretation as to how you want to accent with the metallics. You can also choose not to add these paints if you want to go with a more flat appearance.


For the background, I actually chose to do this with regular colored pencils. I was getting a rather uneven look when I used the watercolor pencils for just the background color, so I went over the image with a regular Prismacolor colored pencil in a light blue, and then to really smooth out the appearance, you can go over the blue with a white colored pencil and that softens everything out. This is a little trick to getting a nice background color.


7.) OUTLINE & DETAIL YOUR HUMMINGBIRD

Once your painting is to your liking, you are ready to outline it with Posca paint pens. I use the .07 mm size, which is the liner size, because this works best for detail work. I LOVE Posca pens. Again, I am not endorsed by them, they just make a superior product and their paint pens work fabulous to add that pop of detail and color that you want.


I used 4 different colors of the Posca pens (they are linked in the above supply section), White, Black, Gold & Silver. I started accenting the highlights with the white pen, then I went in and outlined some of the birds feathers in gold and silver, and last I outlined pretty much everything with the black to make the image pop and stand out. This gives your painting a really nice graphic look.


Finally, the last part of the painting I did was to add a little tiny bit of florescent paint with a orange and pink florescent paint pen (see above supplies for these). I used these to accent the flowers and also the top of the birds head which has very vibrant pinks and oranges. You do not have to do this step as the painting will look great the way it is, but I wanted to add some vibrancy and this is a great way to do it.


8.) ADD GEMSTONES TO YOUR PAINTING

This is also an optional step. I wanted my painting to be super blingy, so I added some flat back rhinestones to my painting. You can buy a cheap set of rhinestones on Amazon (see supplies list) and a lot of these sets will come with the glue included which is great!


I first plotted out which colors I wanted to add and where I wanted to add them to my painting. Then I took a picture of the rhinestones on the painting to remember where I had them placed, then went back in one by one and glued each rhinestone down.


I chose to add rhinestones to the wings and also the tale and the flowers, but again this is up to your creative interpretation, and you can do this however you like.


9.) MATT YOUR PAINTING

To finish up my painting, I wanted to add a matt. This provides a nice polished finished look. Since I created my image in an 8"x10" size this works perfectly with an 11"x14" white matt. I just used masking tape to attach my image to the back of the matt. You can also use a photo matt tape, whatever your preference is.


10.) FRAME YOUR PAINTING

Last you will want to frame your painting. I went with a natural wood frame in an 11"x14" size, but you could go with whatever frame you love most. I have a great blog post here that lists popular frames for sale. These are some of my favorites on Amazon.


Once you have your painting complete and have it all framed and hanging up, I would love to see it. Please email me your photos to nicolesartfulhome@gmail.com to be featured on social media. Thanks so much, and if you have any questions, you can email me at the above email address and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Happy Painting!!



Framed Hummingbird Watercolor Painting



 


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