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How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps

If you love watercolor paintings of nature like I do and always wanted to learn to paint. Well, you are in for a treat. I can show you how to paint a bird with watercolor in 7 easy steps.

You don’t have to be a talented artist to learn to paint a bird with watercolor. I took a series of lessons online and it was pretty easy to learn. All you need is a steady hand and patient. The steady hand comes with practice.

So far I have learned to paint pineapple, flowers, and sea creatures. There are many ways to paint with watercolors. For the bird, I will show you how to use different strokes to paint an easy bird. Keep in mind when you are learning to paint, each bird is different it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Painting a bird: How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps

Materials Needed:

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Watercolor set: Love this beginner set. This set has everything you need paint, brushes, and papers.

Paintbrush: I recommend three brushes small (3), medium (5-6), and large (12), make sure the brushes are pointed for this bird.

Watercolor paper pad: 9 by 12 should be a good size to work with.

Supplies for painting bird: How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps

Instructions On How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor:

When you are setting up a place to paint make sure its clean and there is no clutter around. A large table with plenty of elbow room is perfect. To make it even more peaceful and quiet. Try not to have the tv on or any distractions. You really need to concentrate and this is the key to getting it right.


Painting a beak: How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps
  1. Using a #5 brush, practice creating the beak holding the brush point down and just carefully forming this oval shape beak. When you are dipping the brush into the paint, make sure you dab it on the paper towel so it’s not too wet, but a perfect consistency of paint on the brush is important. It needs to feel smooth.


Painting an Eye: How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps

2. I used blue to make the beak and eyes, but you can use black. With the very tip of the brush form, a circle or you can just create a filled-in circle, either way, it’s fine. Practice this by the beaks you made.


3. In creating the head of the bird, you are using more water than paint. Still dabbing on a paper towel to making sure it’s not too wet. Press down on the paintbrush move the brush in the direction up and then down and create this shape you see in the photo. As you can see each one is unique and they all can be used.

Even if you think it looks messy it really is perfect for watercolor.


4. The chest of the bird is like an upside-down banana. Starting with the tip visualize a banana and create the outline first. Then fill it in with the same color paint.

Tip: Its ok if the paint drips a tiny bit.


5. Form another similar shape like a blue banana shape to form the back of the bird. You will need to make two of these on top of each other. Use my shapes as a guide.

Keep practicing along side the chest until you feel good about the shapes.


6. To form the feather is a bit tricky but you will paint 2 more of a skinny banana shape, over the back forming an X at the end. As you see each of mine is different which is the whole purpose of watercolor, never the same painting.


Steps to painting a bird: How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor in 7 Easy Steps

7. With the #3 paint a thin line and create little sticks for feet. It’s that simple.

You will need to do one last stroke for the bird. It’s connecting the back and the feathers. With one last banana stroke just add that.

Now it’s time to put it all together what you have practiced. On a clean sheet of watercolor paper. Start creating the beak, the eye, the head, the chest, the two backs, the feathers, leave the feet last.

If you want the bird to stand on a branch or log, you have a choice of using your largest brush and create a bunch of brown strokes that can create a log. Make sure the brush is wet enough so the paint can spread.

Free Bird and Branch Printable

For a little extra help to make it easier to paint your first bird. I have enclosed a bird and branch below that you can print out and trace lightly on your watercolor paper. This will help you with the size of the bird. You can practice everything I showed you on this bird. Also, trace a branch with a pencil and you can paint the branches brown. It’s a good way to learn shapes. Free Bird Printable and Branch Printable.


free bird stencil
branch stencil for simple nature decor

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How To Paint A Bird With Watercolor



  1. For some reason, I’ve never mastered the art of doing a watercolor. I always end up drenching the paper or being overly cautious and lightly dabbing on so little water that by the time I add the pigment there’s nothing there. Thanks for making it easier. I loved your tutorial Maria.

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