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Project 10 – Partridges

Essential Supplies

The items you will need to complete this scene are as follows:-

Watercolour Paint

Hooker’s Green
Yellow Ochre
Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna
Charles Evans Sand
Light Red
Raw Umber
Cobalt Blue


4 Pack :-

1.5″ Wash
3/4″ Wash
No 8 Round
No 3 Rigger

Step 1 :

I thought we would do a bit of wildlife for this project, as you can see from this first image I’ve done the initial outline drawing and stuck in the background, my sky wash was firstly, after pre wetting the entire sky area, a little bit of raw sienna in the base and then cobalt blue from the top all the way down. Suck out a few clouds using my 1.5” wash brush which is from the new Charles Evans range of brushes.

I then changed to my ¾” wash brush to put in the distance which was cobalt blue with a tiny touch of light red. And just blot them in. Coming further forward, weak raw sienna then a tiny touch of hookers green and raw sienna keeping all this weak and distant. I now switch to my No 8 round brush and did a few lines and lumpy bits to represent field lines and bushes and for this I used cobalt blue and light red. For the nearer trees I used hookers green and burnt sienna again with my round brush.

Then for the nearer trees I used raw sienna stronger and then dropped in a few hints of burnt sienna here and there. Now that’s all the landscape stuff out of the way. Now to start on the main topic of the painting.

Step 2 :
As you can see from this first bird I have put the basic washes on. First for the breast areas I used a mixture of the Charles Evans Sand with a tiny hint of raw umber in it.

Going back slightly around the body with this mixture until I get to the back areas and the top of the head where it is just a weak raw umber. For the face of the bird I have used light red.

Step 3 :

These same colours I have applied to all of the birds as in the next image, just dropping in a hint of light red into the tops of the body here and there whilst the raw umber mix was still wet.


Step 4 :

When it comes to the detail of the birds, that characteristic horseshoe shape in the breast I have used raw umber mixed with burnt sienna to give a kind of gingery colour.

Step 5 :

For the details like the strong bars of colours coming around the body, I have again used burnt sienna this time on its own. Then when it came to the back of the birds I used raw umber mixed with burnt sienna to make the markings darker.

For the eyes I used a mixture of ultra marine blue and burnt sienna to make a black. Make sure you leave a little dot of white paper showing through just to give it a little bit of a highlight to the eye. For the beaks I used yellow ochre and then again a little bit of black underneath the beak to highlight it. All of this was done with my No 8 round brush again from the Charles Evans range of brushes.

Step 6 :
When I have finished doing the main detail of the birds I used my No 8 round brush and just did a weak glaze of raw umber over the whole bird just to tone in the colours slightly.

Step 7 :

On the bit of ground that the birds area standing I mixed a little bit of burnt sienna with raw umber and firstly washed this in with my ¾” wash brush start and get some base colours in for the grasses.

Firstly using yellow ochre then hookers green and yellow ochre then hookers green and burnt sienna, making sure that you flick the brush upwards to give you a few blades of grass as well as lumpy bits

Also here and there a few flicks of burnt sienna.

Step 8 :

Next I went heavier on the hookers green and burnt sienna making the mix burnt sienna biased. Also at this stage still with my ¾” wash brush I just tapped on into the earth area with a few touches of hookers green and burnt sienna.

Step 9 :

Finally still with the same brush but with a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna, heavier on the cobalt blue, get some depth into those grasses. Also at this stage I put the shadow in cast by the birds both onto the ground and from bird to bird, notice how this makes the birds sit down on the ground and also give the impression that they are more huddled together. There we go a lovely little scene that can be spotted in any stubble field up and down the country.