Watercolor lesson: Painting a Colorful Bantam Rooster

Sorry for the long silence. I haven’t posted in over a month. This wasn’t my intention. I got all involved in painting roosters for a new project.

But I am crowing again!

Consider this post a watercolor lesson as I show you step by step how I painted this very colorful rooster. I used my chinese brushes , my favorite 1/4 inch scrubber (my name), a few smaller brushes (see photo) and a new favorite brush that is squared off but also rounded (the black and tan handle)

It has a wonderful rich feeling, thicker than most flats with a rounded edge.

my favorite brushes at the moment

Some of my favorite brushes

Once I found my reference (after looking at many photos) I  did my drawing and was ready to begin the really fun part, the painting.; But first I found a diagram of the feather groupings which are very complicated in roosters. This was extremely helpful.Once I studied them I could go to town and just have fun.

Feather Diagram

Feather Diagram

I found a wonderfully colorful Bantam photo.I named him Chuck just to keep it personal.

A prize Bantam photo

Firs I laid down loose washes for some of the major feathers. I would love to see a rooster preening and curious as to how long it takes to do a good washing. LOL no pun intended!



I added the head and some feather details and the lucious dark brown body feathers.

Details and delicious darks

Details and delicious darks

Took this stage a little further with more feather details and added some pastel. It was so much more fun to use the pastels with the watercolors. I can’t wait to add more mixed media to my painting.



Then for the finishing touches.



Rooster Palette

Rooster Palette

My palettes always have this look I call it messy. But that’s the way they always end up. Everyone has a different looking palette. It’s kind of like a thumb print!

I always have great company while I am painting. Louisa May is truly a painter’s Cat.

Painter's cat

Painter’s cat

The 4 rooster paintings (finalists) and the designs that Dennis and I came up with are now complete. My next post which is coming on the heels of this one (or the spurs!) will be out very soon.

And I have earned another feather in my cap!


Filed under Amia, Bantam rooster, Birds, Evergreen, Manufacturers, Nature, roosters, Uncategorized, Watercolor, wildlife and birds

12 responses to “Watercolor lesson: Painting a Colorful Bantam Rooster

  1. Wow…he’s gorgeous! Thanks for showing your process, and I really love the idea of using pastel on top for more texture and color. Awesome painting, as always!

    • Thanks. The others are two and will appear in the n next blog post where I show the finished designs. There are so much fun to paint because of all the feathers and colors and textures. Yes the addition of pastel is great and keeps me from trying to put in more detail with the paints and helps keep it loose. Happy Easter and love. Sorry we missed our call and lets try again.
      love andrea

  2. txht


  3. marjorie Raskin

    These lessons are fascinating. Thanks for showing them.
    love, Marge

  4. Gretchen Walsh

    Louisa May looks almost exactly like my Boo! Great blog… love the rooster.

    • Hi Gretchen, so glad you like the roosters. Next post you will see all of them and the designs we made out of them.
      That’s where Dennis comes in.

      Louisa is a tortoiseshell calico and I guess that Boo is also.She is remarkable looking and a total love bug. A cuddler, and a flopper and lets you do anything to her. But she started life out as a barn kitten and has a streak of aggressiveness. Periodically she stalks Maggie our 15 year old who is unnerved by her.
      She did this as a very young kitten with Maggie and our male Buster. Such individual personalities.

  5. Norma

    You’ve shined a light for me on some of the mysteries of the artistic process. And I must say, you’re as nimble with words as with colors.

  6. Beautiful and rich watercolor painting Andrea! This was such a wonderful glimpse into your process. I liked the loving descriptions of the brushes, as well. 😉 I know how that is. I signed up, keep up the great work! Janet

    • Janet hi, Thanks for your nice words and I am so glad that you found this post interesting. I know you are a watercolor illustrator and that is just great! Oh yes I do love my brushes. And I’d love to know what your favorites are. So great to have you as a follower. Next post is on the finished rooster designs. If I can ever get Dennis answer my questions I would then be able to be more technical about how the backgrounds are done.
      You will se what I mean in the next post. Have happy holidays

  7. Joan Kaufman

    Dear Andy:
    I love the roosters. Beautiful.

    • Hi Joan. So glad you like my roosters. Let me introduce you to Ernie, Ezra, Chuck and Petey Boy. They are all so pleased that you like them and they are now preening madly.
      Happiest of Easter holidays.
      love andy

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