I’ve been working on a few new illustrations for the Christmas season and this little chickadee is one of them!

A few things about this painting (and my painting style in general):

1. I use a photo for reference. It’s off to the side of the video, but it’s there. I need it to figure out how to sketch, how to shade, how to do proportions. There’s no shame in referencing a photo.

2. I paint in lots of layers, building up color, texture, contrast as I go. The paintings start so dull (because I start with light colors first!) and as the darker shades are added, the artwork comes to life. That’s why watching to the end of the video is so satisfying.

3. I like painting small. I cut a piece of watercolor paper down to 5.5 x 4.25.

4. Sketching this birdie took me 4 minutes, painting took 24 minutes. That’s one of the benefits of painting small!

If you have any other painting-related questions, I’d love to answer!

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Hi! I am excited about these free printable activity pages and thought you would be too! Here is the link: https://emilylex.com/painting-a-chickadee/