Learn to sketch a bird in pencil and watercolor and have fun while you do it! This workshop is designed for anyone who likes birds and wants to learn some techniques for how to sketch them—whether you’re a beginner birder looking to improve your identification skills through sketching, or a bird expert wanting to explore a new facet to your passion. Learn the basics of blocking in shapes, sketching bird anatomy, watercolor techniques, and adding in a few details to your sketch. Follow along with me and paint a colorful western tanager from start to finish, or paint any bird you like following the same techniques as we go. Sketching should be fun and easy for anyone to try, so don’t worry about your painting being perfect—and practice as many times as you like with all your favorite birds!
Limit: 15 participants
Cost: $40 member, $50 non-member
You can use any watercolor paints, paper, and brushes you already have laying around. If you’d like to purchase any, see my recommendations below, but feel free to select any in your budget. Here are a few things you’ll need:
• Set of watercolor paints. I’ll be using the following colors for our tanager: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, sap green, ultramarine, and burnt umber (give or take a few other optional shades). It’s not necessary to purchase all the same colors if you don’t want to. In my opinion, ultramarine and burnt umber are the most important ones to have in general for watercolorists so those are a good idea to get if you’re thinking of continuing with watercolor.
• Watercolor paper. Having a paper with at least some cotton content (as opposed to cellulose) makes a difference when applying certain watercolor techniques. If you can afford more expensive paper, I’d suggest trying out a 25% or 100% cotton paper (see what I’ll be using below), but it's not imperative.
• Sizes ~3, ~6, and ~10 round paint brushes with a good point (sizes flexible—just good to have small, medium, and large brushes).
• Sketching pencil
• Jar for water
• Paper towels or a soft rag suitable for blotting your brush on
• Hair dryer (optional but quite helpful)
• Kneaded eraser (optional)
For those looking for good budget options to purchase:
•Sakura Koi Field set, 30 colors (has most of the colors I’ll be using plus many more)
•Canson Montval watercolor paper, 140 lb cold press (100% cellulose)
•Craft store synthetic round brushes with a good point
I’ll be using:
•Fabriano studio watercolor fat pad 25% cotton paper (a great watercolor sketchbook paper), and/or Arches 140 or 300 lb hot press 100% cotton paper (great for finished pieces)
•Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton watercolors (tubes)
•Da Vinci Costmotop and/or Grumbacher Goldenedge round brushes in sizes 3, 6, and 10
About Laurel Mundy:
ART IS FOR THE BIRDS
SOMETIMES I, LIKE MANY OF MY GENERATION, FEEL OVERWHELMED AND SCARED ABOUT THE PRESENT STATE OF OUR PLANET.
I often feel helpless—like no matter what small thing I do in my daily life to do “better,” I can’t control the big picture. So I’ve made it my mission to create artwork with a purpose. I hope each piece I create can be a call to action—whether it’s a change in perception, behavior, or inspiration to give or volunteer for a cause. Thanks to the support of folks who have enjoyed my work, I’ve been able to make donations to a variety of charities supporting both wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of sensitive habitats. I’m always looking for new issues to highlight, so if there is a cause dear to your heart that you feel gets no attention, I’d love to hear about it!
A bit about Laurel: I live in a tiny house on wheels built by myself and my partner, Brandon, in western Washington state. I’ve got a background in wildlife biology and a lot of birding experience under my belt, and consider myself equal parts illustrator and naturalist.