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Step by Step / How to draw a puffin

2° of September... I feel already like autumn. I really love this season, when every leaf is changing color, you are drinking tea with pleasure, watching movies after coming home of a walk in the chilly woods and collecting some chestnuts...Well this was at least how I experienced fall in Germany, so let's see how it will be near faro. At least I can watch some movies and go for a walk hahah. And for me fall is also about getting more cozy, crafting something, focussing on some hobbies or passions, and getting into halloween mode. So why not start something new, or join the creative tribe? This blog entry will be for the curious of you on how I am doing my drawings, but also (and this is what I hope) to motivate some of you to start drawing.

First of all I want to tell you why I choose the puffin bird - Well I did a survey on instagram and was asking my followers what I should draw next. The puffin bird was one of the first answers and I thought - why not?! Also it seemed really challenging to draw some animal which is black and white in my colourful style haha. And secondly I wanted to choose a motive which you like and so maybe motivate.

I made some photos with my phone to capture the steps for painting. I will describe the steps and the techniques and you maybe do the same or even post your version of it. This would be so great! And remember it will be your art, your expression, no good or bad. Even the fact of trying out and crafting will relax you and make you feel able to learn. So before we start here are some stuff you will need. Obviously a watercolour palette with the basic colours, pencils, eraser, charcoal pencils (if you can), acrylic white paint, a really small brush, a flat brush and a dip brush, and watercolour paper.

Let's get started:

1. Find some photos of the image you want to draw in different angles. Start drawing the rough shape of the image on your paper. The hardest part will be to get the proportions right. It will take some rounds till you get the shape you are happy with, so at first don't press too much with your pencil and don't hesitate to erase and start over some times.

2. Erase the final pencil image you just did till you are just able to see it slightly.

3. Get your smallest brush and start with the most important thing of your image, the door to the soul, the eyes. With less water and more paint, draw as precise as possible.

4. Continuing with the face and beak: the trick is to use first the brighter colours and than the darker ones and if there are mixed colours in one shape let it dry if you don't want it to get mixed.

5. After drying the orange beak continue with the darker orange shades and the head.

6. Now get the blue and purple going.

I used more colour and less water at the bottom and get the shades in the face with darker blue and red.

7. now the fun part comes. Get the dip brush and make the shape of the wing and body only with water. Than add some colour starting at the wing edge and let the colour run down. Add more colour to the still missing parts. (But use less colour, more water). The lower body part is done with the same procedure, only difference here you can use much more color don't be afraid.

8. When the body is almost dry, use the flat brush (dry) and draw from insideout, almost like scratching.

9. Now I got my small brush again and draw the feet and the body shape with less colour and more water - really carefully.

10. Than add darker blue shades to the body and the wing.

11. If you want you can add a background. For example a rocky shore, and start with the darker areas of the rocks and blue water areas.

12. Either now or later, my beloved splashes. Always use the colours you used in the image and near the shape itself. The trick is to use a lot of colour and same amount of water and moving your brush like a wand from up till down and stop just before hitting the paper.

13. Now the stones should be dry and you can add the light brown shades to your background.

14. Now mix water with a bit of the white acrylic colour and splash it on the 'sea' and get some reflections into the eye. (better seen in the next image).

15. Because the colours were still not too vivid, I added more colour to the darker body parts of the bird.

16. Some more white highlights for the beak and cheeks and darker shades for the beak.

17. What changed here: darker shades in the face. Colourful shades like orange for the wings and some more drops with more water as well as the added second wing.

18. If you have charcoal pencils you can add some lines in the wings and body like I did.

19. Be proud of yourself!

This instruction doesn't describe every technique in detail, but if I get a positive reaction to this post I can make more and go more into detail.

Stay spiced, get your paper out and leave a like!



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