Painting Birds in Watercolour


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My watercolour efforts over the Christmas holidays


Happy 2017 to you!

This is my first post of the year and to be honest I have been delaying putting it up as I was just waiting to get time to add the finishing touch! A watercolour magpie tutorial.


I wanted to add this latest watercolour bird demo but had to work out my new video software first! Now I have it sorted I am really happy to be videoing again and adding watercolour tutorials here and on my YouTube channel.

Over the Christmas break I had a lovely two weeks spent pottering and painting and reading (not to mention walking the dog).


Below are some of the seabirds that I have been inspired to paint following my reading “The Outermost House” and “The House on Nauset Marsh”.


A yellow leg seagull with his head all cozied down into his plumage and a dainty plover with impossibly spindly legs!


If you are a beginner watercolour painter I hope this magpie tutorial will help.

Magpies are one of my favourite birds. They come flapping clumsily down onto my garden wall and look ridiculously big next to my more frequent sparrows, blue tits and robins.

They find it hard to balance on the wall where I leave mounds of special robin and blackbird food and I sit there spying them from indoors with a big smile on my face.

The magpie is so paintable isn’t he? That dramatic black and white plumage and the iridescence of the blue-purple-green shades as the sun catches them makes a wonderful watercolour subject.


Do you paint birds? Which are your faves and why?

Please leave me a comment below! Thanks for reading – Alison










12 thoughts on “Painting Birds in Watercolour

  1. I so love birds…especially wrens and crows! I read a post somewhere about a family rescuing and raising a Magpie…wonderful story. I painting your Raven/ Crow and love it.

  2. Happy New Year Alison! Can you pm me on fb please? I’m coming up to Crickhowell soon and would love to meet up!

  3. These are lovely Alison. I like painting birds, mostly watercolour and also drawings in pencil. Very fond of wrens, owls and corvids. Very taken with your gulls and sea birds. Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks for that HON:) I see you do a range of art – good for you. I too love corvids and have been painting a magpie today. He didn’t turn out so well but hey ho. I liked your owl. Happy painting!

  4. A happy new year Alison. Glad to see you back on u tube. I love your tutorials, aspecially the magpie. I have bought the two books you recommended, and am reading The House On Nauset Marsh . Really enjoying it. Still waiting for the other one to arrive.

    1. Ah that’s wonderful – how do you like the book? I am now onto Henry Beston’s book on herbs – I love his writing – so calm and connected to nature. Thanks for the compliments about my tutorials – that made my day. I’m so glad to finally understand how to get the video thing sorted – it was driving me mad 🙂

    1. That’s very kind Margaret – thank you. I really took my time. It’s the character I see in birds that really appeals to me as it obviously does you. I hope you enjoy the magpie video.

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