Watercolor Artist and Teacher

How to Paint a Baby Duck in Watercolor

The newest video tutorial has finally been released to the Online School:    
How to Paint this Duckling in Watercolor!

Read on to see some step by step images.

This painting, created on Arches Hot Press paper, will fit a 5 x 7 inch mat and a standard 8 x 10 inch frame –  perfect if you would like to create a personalized gift for a child’s room!

You can watch a super-quick version of the painting on this Youtube video: https://youtu.be/roYzhdheU-8

Step by Step Images (watch the full tutorial in real time at My Online School.)

First, I’ll establish the initial color in the eye, beak, and body by outlining the main features, creating a map to follow in future applications.

  • Apply the first pinks to the beak with pale, watery color.
  • Do the same with the browns and blacks of the eye.
  • Outline the head and body with pale, watery yellow.

Apply pale yellow to the head and body. This is the lightest value that can be seen.

Next, I’ll use the pink to establish the prominent parts of the beak.

  • The beginnings of contour and shape in the beak are being created by applying different values of pink.
  • Deepen the black parts of the eye.
  • Create what will be the darker parts of the head and neck with a warm yellow, working around the lightest shapes.
  • Deepen the dark shapes with pale, watery brown.

  • Now that the darks have been established, apply hair markings everywhere with the warm yellow.
  • These applications are super pale, and will be deepened in future steps.
  • Be aware of the length and contour of the hairs.

Hair markings have been applied everywhere, and next, I’ll connect shapes and begin to create a smooth transition from dark to light values. It will take several applications to do this, allowing drying time in between.

I’ll begin with a deeper, warm yellow, followed by brown, a watery consistency, applying hair markings to bridge the mid-tone and dark values.

 It’s back to the eye, applying the final browns and blacks.

Little by little, the values are becoming balanced with these thin applications.

  • Use the watery brown to create longer pale hairs around the edge of the head.
  • Apply hair markings and textures to the darkest parts, followed by larger glazes with the watery brown. This is so pale, it can hardly be seen, but helps with the transition in values and smooths the texture a bit.

And now for the final details.

  • Selectively apply hair markings with watery brown, creating smooth transitions in value.
  • Create purple in the darkest parts of the beak, using pale blue. It appears purple due to the pinks underneath.

As each application dries, I make decisions on further refinements, applying final textures and deepening values.

And this duckling is finished.

If you would like to learn more, you can join the online school to see this tutorial in real time from the very beginning to the end of the painting.

  • The course includes an outline drawing, the reference photo, and a list of materials.
  • I’ll talk through each step, including how to mix colors on the palette, make alterations, and fix errors that are a natural part of any painting.
  • My hope is that you will be able to apply these techniques to your own paintings of your favorite black animals.
  • You can enroll as a subscriber – one monthly payment provides access to all of the courses in this site, and you can cancel at any time, or you can purchase each individual course.

If you have any questions, please so contact me – rebrho@gmail.com.

I love creating these videos, and look forward to working with you!


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