Macaw Parrot Step by Step with Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens
Are you looking for how to use Arteza watercolor brush pens? Well, you are in the right place!
Arteza watercolor brush pens are ideal for painting a Macaw Parrot! This spectacular bird is so brightly colored and the pens are so vibrant, it’s an ideal pairing.
I’ll introduce you to a few special techniques that work especially well with watercolor brush pens, and give you my best Pro Tips to help you get the most out of your pens.
- Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens
- A palette of some sorts – a waxed covered paper plate, a small sheet of freezer paper, a plastic plate, or a glass dish.
- A paper towel
- A small cup of water
- A size 8 watercolor round brush ( not the refillable blending brush)
- one sheet of watercolor paper size 9 x 12 – I used Canson 140 LB watercolor paper
- the PDF pattern from a photo (permission granted by photographer Sue Elliot from Photos for Artists Facebook Group – download here
Arteza Colors : Neon Pink, Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Bright Blue, Sapphire Blue, Royal Blue, Eggplant Purple, Turtle Green, Light Green, Seaweed Green, Noir, Dolphin Grey, Tawny, and Elephant Grey
Instructions about How To Use Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens
Download the pdf pattern of the Macaw Parrot (see above) and transfer it to the 9 x 12 watercolor paper with your favorite method. I eyeballed it, but you can also rub a pencil on the back of the pattern and draw over the lines as you place the pattern on the watercolor paper. If you use this method to transfer the drawing, don’t press hard AT ALL, or you will emboss a line into the spongey watercolor paper.
Dry brush the beak with Dolphin Grey. Add a few dots of Elephant Grey on the tip. Wet blend with the round watercolor brush. Let dry.
For a detailed tutorial on how to dry brush using watercolor brush pens, check out our tutorial here.
You can speed up the drying time by using a hairdryer set on low heat if you are in a hurry. I usually just fan the paper in the air for a few minutes. You will know it is very dry if the paper is NOT cool to the touch. (As water evaporates, the paper will feel cool to the touch).
Color a line next to the head with Tawny brown. Wet blend down into the beak with a damp round brush. Let dry thoroughly. Color under the beak in the inner mouth area Noir.
Long Tail Feathers:
Paint the red long tail feathers Neon Pink using a dry brush technique. Shade Red. Blend with a little bit of water. Let dry thoroughly.
Paint the blue long tail feathers using Sapphire Blue. Shade with Royal Blue. Blend with a little bit of water. Let dry thoroughly.
Using a palette, brush a few strokes of Sapphire Blue on to the palette. Using a wet brush, dip it into the blue and stroke it out on the palette. Using this watered-down color, color in the pale blue feathers. Shade with Bright Blue. See photo below. Blend if you wish. Let dry.
Using the Red brush pen, draw a thin red line down the center of the red feather. On the right side, dry brush some angled lines using the side of the Red brush.
Paint the claw elephant grey. Shade with the same color up near the body, under the claw, and to the left side of the claw. Draw contour lines as in the closeup. Using clear water on the round brush, lighten the middle of the claw and blot with a paper towel.
Color the yellow feathers with Lemon Yellow and dry brush a bit of orange. Wet blend and dry thoroughly.
Mid lower feathers
Paint the mid-lower feathers green using Light Green, drawing around the lower yellow feather as carefully as you can. Dry brush with Turtle Green. Using a damp round watercolor brush, blend the darker green into the lighter green area, but avoid the yellow edges as much as you can. Shade the darkest green areas using Seaweed Green.
On very dry paper, paint the blue underfeathers using Royal Blue, drawing around the yellow and green feather tips as you go. Blend in Bright Blue over the top. Let dry.
Shade Eggplant in deep shadows. Lighten the very centers of the blue feathers by drawing a stroke with a wet brush. Blot dry immediately. Draw the dark blue line down the center and under the yellow feather areas.
For another example of how to lighten watercolor ink-based brush pens, check out our tutorial on creating a vibrant sunset landscape here.
Red top feathers
Paint the red head and shoulder feathers using Neon Pink, then orange. Wet blend. Let dry.
Shade Red using short jagged strokes and following around the form in curved lines as in the closeup picture and letting quite a bit of the Neon Pink show through.
Shade the darkest parts using Eggplant Purple and blend with a damp brush by drawing the darker color into the lighter color. Let dry.
Go back with Red and deepen the tops of the red on the head and body with feathery strokes. Using a thin red stroke, draw a few of the red lines in the orange feathers.
Branch and moss
Color the moss area Lemon Yellow and dot with Light Green. Wet blend and let dry.
Shade with dots of Seaweed Green. Add some patches of Seaweed Green along the bottom of the branch in random places.
Paint the branch with Tawny using drybrush strokes. Shade with Elephant Grey using dry brush strokes on the lowest parts of each branch. Blend with a somewhat damp brush, leaving the white of the paper to sparkle through in the middle and top of each branch.
Refine the moss with a bit of black in the darkest areas using the very tip of the brush.
Using the Royal Blue, draw tiny lines in the blue feathers.
Using Orange, draw a few thin lines in the yellow feathers to differentiate them.
Paint the eye Dolphin Grey. Let dry. Add a small circle of Noir for the pupil. You’re done!
Here’s the final watercolor brush pen artwork ready to mat and frame!
I hope you enjoyed painting along with your Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens! If you would like to explore additional watercolor brush marker sets, check out my review of The Best Watercolor Brush Pens here.
You might also enjoy my review of the Best Watercolor Papers For Beginners here.