Birdy Hour with Anastasia Nguyen

Learning Watercolor Techniques to Paint Birds

In this fun, unique Birdy Hour, artist Anastasia Nguyen will teach you how to paint a beautiful bird in watercolor! She will be using the winning photos from the “Art Category” of the May 25th, 2024, Spring Bird Photo Big Day as references for the artwork, so you will learn which bird you will be painting after the Bird Photo Big Day ends. During the workshop, Anastasia will first explain her creative process and her recommended supplies. Then, she will guide participants in painting a bird in its environment with watercolors using a reference photo. While she paints, she will also be answering your questions about watercolor, bird illustration, or just art in general. 

Here are the exact supplies that Anastasia will be using during the workshop, but you don’t need to use the exact same supplies as she does. 

  • Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper. Her favorite budget-friendly watercolor paper is Canson XL watercolor paper. If you would like to use another brand, she suggests using a paper that is at least 140 lb (300 gsm) so that it will be able to handle the water. 
  • A small, medium, and large round watercolor brush. Anastasia will be using a Winsor & Newton Cotman 00 brush, a Princeton Aqua Elite round brush, and a Princeton Neptune round brush. 
  • Winsor & Newton tube watercolors. A budget-friendly alternative is Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors. It is not necessary for you to have the exact same colors as Anastasia. A magenta (or red), cyan (or blue), a yellow, a black, and a brown (for convenience, but it’s optional) is really all you need.
  • Any kind of erasable pencil, such as a mechanical pencil, and an eraser
  • A cloth to wipe your brushes on, such as an old t-shirt or rag
  • A cup of water
  • Optional: Holbein’s soft tape or Magic scotch tape
A couple of days before the workshop, we will send participants the reference photos, courtesy of the Bird Photo Big Day winners, and a printable outline to trace onto your watercolor paper. Please come to the workshop with your outline already traced, as Anastasia won’t be demonstrating the drawing portion of bird illustration in this class. This Birdy Hour will not be recorded, but we will send participants a time-lapsed video of Anastasia creating her painting that they can us as a reference.

Anastasia Nguyen is a high schooler with a passion for birds, conservation, and art. She started birding three years ago but has been creating art for as long as she can remember. Although she works with many different media, her favorite medium for illustrating birds is watercolor. She especially enjoys painting detailed, realistic portraits of birds in their natural habitats. For Anastasia, art has been a wonderful way to understand birds on a deeper level, and she hopes to share the joy of bird illustration with other bird-lovers. 

Please check back soon!


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