Birdie

Another movie from the daily sketches series - another animal, this time a lot smaller :D On the movie I will show you how to draw such birdie from the very beginning to the end, maybe my techniques will become useful to you in your own creations. Also I'd like to encourage you to upload your drawings to YourWorks gallery (you can do that after logging in)! Lately few new drawings showed up and it makes me very happy :D Such small bird is a great exercise so watch the movie and try it out yourself!

Of course if you have any questions, I am waiting for comments, I'd be happy to give additional explanations.

..:: DOWNLOAD VIDEO-TUTORIAL ::..

The one for download is in much better quality, bigger resolution and without speed up, so you can see clearly what I am doing in each step. Just download it, watch and try to draw the bird yourself!

At first I just try to grasp the base shape, only after I can see it, I add new layer and sketch all the details. I am not trying to be very precise while drawing, sketch is a bit messy and lines are pretty chaotic but what counts is that all the elements are on correct places (like eye, beak and so on). Then on separate layers I paint base colors with hard brush. I just divide the whole drawing into few layers, trying to simplify it. Opacity of my sketch is lowered, because it was too disturbing. And I paint background with soft brush. Low opacity for the brush makes blending colors easier.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

For each layer on which I've painted some base color with a hard brush, I add new layer and turn it into a clipping mask (you can do that by right-clicking chosen layer and picking this option from the menu). I also copy the sketch and turn it into a clipping mask too, so that I can use those lines while painting the bird. Parts of the sketch will become part of the painting. I color my birdie with a brush you already know from the previous tutorial, you can download it from HERE. You can see that sometimes I use very small brush and scribble something on bird's head, and sometimes I use bigger one, with smaller opacity and cover larger areas. With small elements (like beak) I mix colors with smudge tool.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

Sometimes I use smudge tool on my base layer, to get rid of hard borderline or add small feathers on the edge. You can see those on bird's head and belly. Slowly more and more feathers are being added and sketch is finally rubbed into the painting. Bird is rather colorful - to make areas of one color not look artificial, I add small details of that color elsewhere. For example - I used some orange tones from bird's belly and painted small lines on the side or head, where you don't see orange at all. I do the same on the tail, where I used blue from the background to add light.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

Painting the branch also starts with creation of new clipping mask for color. Those are very convenient since they let me forget about the edges and shapes, I can paint freely without worrying that I will paint over something or will have to erase edges once again. At first I just want to show cylindrical shape of the branch so I add dark color on the upper and bottom part. I also add some light green, so that my branch is not completely black and white. Last thing in this part is adding missing detail on the tail.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

I start working on his legs - first color them in a dark color, so I can see them more clearly and then adjust the shape with smudge tool. Only after that I start adding some simple detail with lighter color, to make them less flat. I am not trying too hard for those, they are not a significant element of the drawing anyway. But it is crucial to remember about the shadow on the branch. Only because of that shadow our bird actually looks like it is standing on the branch and it's not just pasted on top of it. Then I add some simple bark detail, small dots and wrinkles.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

I fix (with smudge tool again) edges on the base layer for the branch, so they are not that sharp and stiff. Then I color that thin branch on the edge of the picture. I use lots of blue tones this time, since I plan to blur it out and it should blend into the background nicely. Gaussian blur filter helps me out in this task - I use in on the base layer and on the clipping mask too. I make that last branch in the upper-right corner in the same way.

Birdie Birdie Birdie

And that's it, drawing is finished. Download the movie if you haven't yet!