Winterberry Bird Acrylic Painting

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The perfect post-holiday activity! This demo, designed especially for beginning artists and painting with friends, will put you at the center of your favorite paint party! Follow step-by-step instructions for this brilliant cardinal and winterberry scene on a metallic gold background. Print and cut ...

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  1. Paint the entire canvas, including the sides, using Metallic Gold and a wide brush. Paint the shape of the sun with Titanium White, using a sponge in a circular motion, then dabbing to fill in the circle.
  2. With Burnt Umber, create arching branches using the side edge of a medium-size, square-shaped brush. Add smaller branches, extending them from the main branches, using the same color and a smaller round brush.
  3. Dip a cotton swab in Alizarin Crimson and dab around the branches randomly to create berry clusters. Dip a second swab in Cadmium Red and apply more berries around and on top of the darker ones.
  4. Print and cut out the bird template. Using a pencil, trace the shape onto the canvas so that it appears the bird is perched on a branch. With medium-size flat brush, fill the shape with Cadmium Red, leaving the beak area open.
  5. While the red is still wet, add a few detail strokes on the tail and right side of the bird using a small round brush and Burnt Umber. Clean the same brush and add a few strokes of white on the left side of the bird (refer to sample image for placement).
  6. Clean the small round brush thoroughly and apply Cadmium Yellow to the beak area.
  7. To create the effect of snow on the branches, unroll a cotton ball into a flat strip, then separate it into four small strips. Using a medium flat brush, paint a line of Mod Podge along just the top of the main branch that the bird is perched on, stopping before you reach the bird. Place a small strip of cotton over it, then apply more Mod Podge on top until the cotton is attached and lies mostly flat. Tear or cut the cotton strip to fit as needed. As an alternative to Mod Podge, add just enough water to some white glue so that it can be easily brushed in the same manner.
  8. Repeat Step 7 for each of the main branches (the ones painted with the larger brush), unrolling and pulling apart one or two more cotton balls as needed. It’s not necessary to add snow to the smaller branches, and it should not be applied to vertical branches or on the underside of branches.
  9. Using the small, round brush, apply Burnt Umber to the face of the cardinal, from the beak to the throat in a rounded curve. Refer to the example image for desired shape.
  10. Dip the end of a cotton swab in Titanium White and dab random snowflakes over the entire canvas.