I’ve had so much fun over here creating a new calendar to brighten your day and I hope your year! This time, I thought it would be fun to focus on birds. Birds are so fun to paint (and surprisingly easy) to draw. All of the patterns are available in the Resource Library. If you don’t already have a password, you can sign up HERE to get yours and then get started right away!
If you don’t have time to do a watercolor project right now (I get it) and just want to print out my finished calendar for your own use, you can find it HERE.
Paint with Me
Notice I said paint and not draw? I’m taking the drawing part out of the equation (and I have many more of these types of projects planned for you!). Let’s not get caught up on the drawing part yet (unless of course, you want to). Just enjoy the watercolor painting process. You will learn so much as you just experiment without the pressure to draw the perfect picture. One skill at a time, I say. So with that out of the way, let’s get started!
- Winsor Newton 12 pan watercolor set (or whatever you have on hand)
- Paintbrush (you can use the brush included in your watercolor set but I recommend getting at least one or two quality brushes. Look for a round brush size 0-6. This set has some great options and I always use this handy set both in nature journaling and in the studio)
- 140lb Watercolor Paper (this is my favorite for these kinds of projects. I cut one page in half and it’s the perfect size for this calendar
- Printable Patterns (found in the Resource Library)
- Window, iPad or Lightboard (see below)
- Pencil (I prefer to use a blue pencil but any pencil will do)
- Black Pen (I used this one for the writing and this one for outlining my birds)
For this project, I use all of my colors in the 12 half pan palette. Don’t worry if you don’t have Winsor & Newton brand of paints (although if you are in the market for inexpensive but high-quality paints I wholeheartedly recommend this set), most watercolor colors have the same name across brands so just look for the names in whatever you have. If you are using a pan that doesn’t have names, just try to get close to these colors as you paint or be creative and do your own! Just keep your color palette limited and it will turn out great!
1. Print Out Your Pattern
If you are already a member of the Lily and Thistle tribe, you can access the pattern in the Resource Library with your password (found in every email I send to you) HERE. If you aren’t a member of our creative community, you can sign up and grab your password HERE.
Here are all of the other birds you will find in the Resource Library:
2. Trace Your Calendar
I like to trace everything with my trusty blue pencil first and then come in with a black pen after. You may be wondering how to do this without a light board. Hot tip: You have a light board (actually a whole bunch) right in your home. Windows!
If you are working on this at night, you still have some options. I like to use my iPad. I use the Softbox app set on the white setting and it works like a charm!
Watercolor is such a forgiving and fun way to get into painting. Pretend you are coloring in a coloring book but with paint instead! Remember more water equals lighter, pastel-like colors, less water equals darker, more vibrant colors. Just have fun and don’t overthink it. I made a video of each bird but unfortunately, I am still learning and only a few of them turned out. The good news is that I’m learning a lot as I go and I hope to keep bringing video to you in the coming year. So I hope this very amateur video is helpful for you. Please let me know if you have any suggestions! I’m posting to YouTube so if you’d like to be notified of new videos, you can subscribe!
4. Hang it up and Have a Wonderful New Year
I hope this will be a fun little project and give you a smile each time you look at it throughout the year. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am so happy to help.
Happy New Year!
You can PIN any of the pictures below to share!