Sketchbook Challenge — Episode 2: Painting A Bird

Hey friends, welcome to episode 2 of my sketchbook challenge. Today I'm painting one of my favorite birds, the shaft tailed finch, also known as a long tailed finch. I first saw some at the National Aviary and I was immediately struck by their blue heads and bright orange beaks. I just think that they are really beautiful birds and I love drawing them.

These are micron pens which I used to create a cleaner line drawing over the rough sketch that I did in pencil. The ones I have are super thin which allows me to achieve fine hairlines. The ink is also waterproof, and dries very quickly, so I don't have to worry about smudging. I'll be sure to list all of the supplies I use in the description below.

I hadn't drawn anything in a few weeks and was feeling very rusty. Birds tend to be something that I draw when I want to get out of a rut or artist block. I tend to find inspiration from birds, plants, and nature when I feel like I'm in a bad art phase.

All of the watercolor paints in my palette were mixed using a primary mixing set from Blick. Using the tubes of paint in the set, I mixed over 40 different colors into little half pans. I wanted to try better quality watercolors than the palettes I had, and so far these have been very nice to use.

I started off with a light wash of color, and gradually built up the colors from there. I wanted to include a few seconds of real time painting and drawing here and there, just to show that I take my time.

It's been a while since I filmed a sketchbook video, but this book is about halfway filled up since I got it a few months ago. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen some of the other paintings I have in here that I didn't film a timelapse video of. I'll try to film as many of my sketches as I can from now on. I really enjoy making videos in my free time, but video making sort of got pushed off my list of priorities for a while. Now that I'm getting better at filming and editing, it doesn't take as long to create a process video.

This is a Pentel Aquash brush pen that I've filled up with sumi ink. This ink is not waterproof so I saved it for after the watercoloring part. Initially I was just going to just use this to fill in the black feathers and the eyes, but realized that I also wanted to vary the line thickness of the rest of the bird. I sort of zoned out during this part because inking with this brush pen is super relaxing.

And that's about it. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I'm also pleased about getting out of this art rut. Thank you so much for watching! I hope you're all doing well.

Supplies I used

Stilman & Birn Delta Series 5.5 x 8.5” Sketchbook (Amazon)
Prismacolor Turquoise Drawing Pencil (4B) (Amazon)
Micron Pens in sizes 02, 03 and 05 (Amazon)
Blick Primary Watercolor Mixing Set (Blick)
MEEDEN Palette & 48 Half Pans (Amazon)
Pentel Aquash Brush Pen (Extra Fine) (Amazon)
Yasutomo Black Sumi Ink (Amazon)
Utrecht Taklon Watercolor Brushes in sizes 6, 1 & 0 (Utrecht)


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