Patchings Festival – Online Tutorial – Painting a Kestrel


2 - 3 hours

Reference Photo

Drawing Guide

PDF Pack

Free watercolor bird painting tutorial on painting this kestrel
Patchings 2020 Virtual Art Festival

This tutorial was recorded live as part of the Virtual Patchings Festival with Painters Online.

The tutorials will teach you how to paint realistic birds in watercolour.  I will go through the whole process of painting a study of a Kestrel.  I will start with the outline drawing and foundation washes.  Gradually you will see how I build the underlying layers to give the bird a realistic shape and form.  Once these all important base layers are on I will begin to work on the fine details which will really bring the bird to life.  

If you would like to paint the Kestrel yourself you will find links to the reference photo and outline drawing above.  In addition, a PDF which includes a list of materials you will need.

I hope you enjoy the live tutorials and do let me know how you get on.  I would love to add your paintings to the student gallery at the bottom of the page.  Enjoy!     Paul 🙂 

In part one we will focus on painting the eye and beak.  Building the fine details on top of the underlying wash layers we will create a realistic and shiny eye.  Something to look at as you continue by adding the foundation washes for the feathers.  

Both videos are timestamped on my 👉 YouTube Channel  should you wish to go to certain sections.  Simply click on the play buttons and then click again on the YouTube logo which appears bottom right on the videos to be taken straight to the right page.  You will find the clickable timestamps in the descriptions.

While there, don’t forget to click on subscribe and the little bell 🔔 icon. 

Important Note:
When you begin to play this section you will notice a big jump forward in my progress.  I didn’t paint the entire piece ‘live’ as the video would have been too long.  Try to ignore the fact that I have a finished section, watch the video as normal and work on the head.  You will see that I then start to work on the front of the bird.  As I complete each layer within the small section I have left, you instead need to apply the technique across the rest of the bird’s neck too.  Do this for each layer of detail, and gradually you will ‘catch up’ with me.  Had I not done this, there would have been no finished painting at the end of the two live sessions which I felt it was important to have.

Enjoy the rest of the tutorial and I look forward to seeing your finished paintings. Paul 🙂

I would love to see your finished painting and share it within the student gallery.

And I would be very interested to know the difficulty rating you would give this project.

I do hope you enjoyed these live tutorials, remember I would love to see your finished painting if you have a go yourself. 
Until the next time, keep those brushes wet!  Paul

🎵 Music Credits

Aakash Gandhi – Dreamland