Drawing and Painting Feathers On A Great Blue Heron

Painting over the pencil lines drawn for the feathers.
Painting over the pencil lines drawn for the feathers.

Drawing and Painting Feathers On A Great Blue Heron. I’ll draw the feathers on our Great Blue Heron using a 2H pencil. I chose a 2H because it is not too hard or too soft. Pencils like HBs or Bs tend to leave a mess and too soft for my liking. Harder pencils like 2H or 4H are much cleaner. However, they are still soft enough to make a visible line you can paint on. I always use a sheet of paper under my drawing and painting hand to prevent the oils from my skin from damaging the surface.

Painting on the Pencil Lines

Drawing the feathers with a 2H pencil.
Drawing the feathers with a 2H pencil.

Using a Windsor & Newton Regency Gold 540 brush, I paint over the pencil lines with a blue gray color that is darker than the heron’s base color. After the paint is dry, I take an eraser and erase any part of the pencil lines still visible. After I erase the pencil, I go back with the Regency Gold 540 liner and smooth out the lines for the feathers.

Here is the heron with the feathers drawn in pencil.
Here is the heron with the feathers drawn in pencil.
A close-up of me painting the pencil feather lines with my Windsor & Newton Regency Gold 540.
A close-up of me painting the pencil feather lines with my Windsor & Newton Regency Gold 540.
Erasing the leftover pencil lines by using a kneaded eraser.
Erasing the leftover pencil lines by using a kneaded eraser.
The outlines for the feathers are complete.
The outlines for the feathers are complete.