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Ashley beolens Saturday 27th December 2003 19:10

Water colours?
Not sure if this is the righjt place, but it will do.

I was lucky enough to get some water colours for christmas (santa was fooled by my good behaviour in the last few weeks!), but I have no idea how to paint! does any one on BF either paint themselves (not literally), and can give me some tips/pointers, or know of any literature that would help me in my quest to be a wildlife artist!

Thaks in advance to all who can help. o:D

cjay Saturday 27th December 2003 19:12

Draw & paint what you see & you should be ok.

Go to the birdfair & ask the artists there for advice too.


HH75 Saturday 27th December 2003 19:18

Hi Ash,
Can you draw birds in pencil already?If not,then I'd suggest working at this first!
I gamely struggle on,despite having limited artistic talent:it's more the discipline of drawing birds that interests me,as it necessitates closer scrutiny and can lead to features being seen and noted that one would otherwise ignore....
Harry H

cuddy Saturday 27th December 2003 22:09

As a pathetic example of a bird illustrater i can give only this advice keep trying Ashley it will improve with time and i think it is an important part of understanding birds.

All the best for the new year.


CJW Saturday 27th December 2003 22:58

Avoid drawing/painting the feet at all costs!
I dabble a bit Ashley and can honestly say I hate doing feet!
As for advice, I'm afraid I have none - I'm self taught - but as long as you get pleasure from it that's all that matters.
Harry's right in that it certainly helps with note taking .

Gerry Hooper Tuesday 30th December 2003 19:04

I'd start on Landscapes to begin with Ashley.Birds are not easy.
You need to wet the paper first then use a little paint and see what happens.
Start off with light colours moving to darker, let the paper dry between times to create edge or keep it wet for gradual tones.
Using only 2 colours+mixtures of them for a complete painting is best to begin with, it gives the painting a 'togetherness'.
Hope that helps a bit.

Woody Monday 5th January 2004 10:17

Hi Ashley,

Harry is right, start with honing your drawing skills.

Find a subject that is easy to observe, like the feral pigeons in the local park for example, and fill cheap sketchbooks with sketches. Whatever you do don't buy an expensive sketchbook, you'll be scared to use it, always thinking you're going to 'waste' paper. I use photocopier paper which I ringbind into 'books'.

There are loads of books on watercolour technique and there are books on bird drawing/painting but the best way to learn IMHO is to do it for yourself, experiment and learn from your mistakes.

Art of any kind is a journey, and the way is full of ups and downs. You will have days when you feel like throwing your paints and sketches into the nearest deep lake, and others when you want to show the whole world what you have achieved.

Stick with it, and practice, practice, practice, draw all the time. Don't worry about what other people think, it's about you enjoying the journey and if you are lucky others will enjoy your vision of the world but remember that not everybody will.

Have fun!


graham_t Monday 5th January 2004 12:11

Peter Partington wrote a book called "Learn to Paint Birds in Watercolour" that seems to be out of print though some are available through Amazon. He's also got one on How to draw Birds which is in print. Partington, if you don't know him is a British artist - I mention this as many "how to draw etc" books like this are US orientated

Edward woodwood Monday 5th January 2004 16:56


do it as much as possible - the more regularly you do it the better you'll get ;) . If you try watercolour start with a pale wash and build colour up on top. A tube of white gouache is very useful for highlights etc too.

gonna do a bit myself tonite

Ashley beolens Monday 5th January 2004 19:01

Thank you all for the tips, I've been sketching for a few years (not that I'm very good at it), which is why I wanted to move up to watercolours, I've now managed 3 pics, and have seen the improvement each time, even bought a basic book, what I need now is one dedicated to bird or wildlife art, as that is all I really want to paint, I'll have a look for the Peter Partington book, thanks for the tip Graham.

christineredgate Monday 5th January 2004 19:09

Ashley,I think there is someone on this Forum who does lots of sketching and maybe painting.I cannot remember her name,but her avatar has a photo of herself.She once offered to do some bird sketches for me,when I was looking for some bird pics for an IT project.perhaps some one may remember her name.She wears glasses.I think her name could be Laura or Lucy.Not much help,but if some one can place her,you should be able to PM her.

Edward woodwood Monday 5th January 2004 19:11

hey Ash

top tip: have a glass of wine or a beer while you do it - seems to help

also sketch every bird you see of interest in the field.....

Michael Frankis Monday 5th January 2004 20:11


Originally Posted by Ashley beolens
I have no idea how to paint!

I think you put a small amount of the paint on a brush, and then wipe the brush across some paper, transferring the paint from the brush to the paper.


Karl J Monday 5th January 2004 20:25

I'm told various books by Alwyn Crawshaw are very good & give step by step instruction / exercises and advice on various techniques, from beginner up. Might be worth checking your local library.

Geoff Pain Monday 5th January 2004 20:31

Noticed a video about painting in the shop at Leighton Moss RSPB yesterday,perhaps some of the other centres stock it if there's one near you.

Ashley beolens Monday 5th January 2004 21:03

:clap: If only everyone was as funny as Michael!

Did you notice the sarcastic tones in my voice?

very boring banned member Monday 5th January 2004 22:20


Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
I think you put a small amount of the paint on a brush, and then wipe the brush across some paper, transferring the paint from the brush to the paper.


I prefer mucho paint on stone:

graham_t Tuesday 6th January 2004 08:20

I think the RSPB video referred to by Geoff Pain is by Bruce Pearson
If you can find the out of print book that John Busby did for the RSPB on drawing birds (RSPB Guide to Drawing Birds) its well worth having..........not that its done me much good!

christineredgate Tuesday 6th January 2004 08:34

Ashley,I have just remembered the BF members name,I think it is Nina.
Good Luck,Christine.

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