On painting feathers: If your paintings of birds are too “tight,” consider these tips from Cheri Christensen on how to loosen up.
By Cheri Christensen
Wondering how to paint feathers? Feel your paintings are too tight? Want to loosen up?
Then follow these quick tips for painting feathers for chickens and other birds:
- Consider the passages of light and shadow versus each individual feather. Think: Big Shapes! You must get the main structure down first. You’ve got to paint the bird before the feathers!
- To paint those big shapes, use big brushes and stand back from your painting while looking at your reference subject. Don’t get in too close to your artwork to paint details before the structure is complete.
- Look for lost edges! Don’t make every edge sharp. Soften the edges where needed and lose them where you can. Less is more. It is the suggestion of feathers that makes the painting interesting — not each individual feather.
Follow these tips and you will be painting beautiful birds!
Visit Cheri Christensen’s website at cherichristensen.com, and learn how to paint from this artist in the comfort of your own home with her Liliedahl art video workshop on color, light, and how to paint animals!
This article was originally published in 2018
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Good point on standing back from your painting. It’s easy to get caught up on little details and forget about the big picture. Great article. Lovely paintings too!
Thanks, I’m going to put your tips to practice. i really like your style. Haven’t seen a lot of other chicken paintings… I like it!