This week on our Youtube channel I posted another brand new watercolour tutorial – How to Paint Loose Watercolour Ducks and Ducklings. This is a loose watercolour painting of a little family of Mallard ducks as I love their patterns.  To watch the tutorial please visit

We upload tutorials twice a week on Youtube so why not watch the videos and paint along with me?

Painting Animals

When painting animals I like to start off by practising the shapes and main features on scrap paper using a pencil as it helps to guide me throughout and this is no different for this duck painting. Think of it as a reference point.

Painting animals may sometimes seem daunting but practice makes perfect and don’t be put off if they aren’t perfect the first time round. My top tip is to start with diluted paint as you can easily add to it and layer up the colours and details.

painting animals

How to Paint Loose Watercolour

I absolutely love painting in a loose watercolour style and for this family of ducks, I have chosen this technique as it helps to show off their beautiful patterns.

As long as you don’t waterlog your page you can build up your watercolour very easily by using loose brushstrokes and different colours. If you look at any images of the Mallard duck you will notice the male and female are different colours and in order to obtain this effect, the loose watercolour technique works best.

Don’t be afraid to keep mixing colours until you find the perfect combination and remember no two ducks are identical so they don’t need to be perfect.

loose watercolour

Adding details to your watercolour ducks and ducklings

As always when your first layers are dried it’s time to add your finishing touches. For these lovely ducks, we need to add a splash of bright blue colour, I love to use French Ultramarine Blue which gives the ducks a stunning stripe.

Using a small brush I also paint in the eyes, beak and smaller details using black to make them really pop! I don’t like to use a huge amount of detail and I also like to practice small details such as eyes before I paint them onto the actual paper.

Adding details to watercolour

Let me know how you found this tutorial – How to Paint Loose Watercolour Ducks and Ducklings. I’d love to see your take on this cute family, did you give it a go? Do you have any questions?

You can comment on our youtube video – or follow us on Instagram – @dewintonpaperco. 

The materials used in this tutorial were:

Paint: Winsor and Newton Artist Quality –

Pro Arte Masterstroke series 60 size 4/0, 2, 6 –

Paper Daler Rowney Aquafine cold-pressed paper –

You will also need some kitchen roll.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our tutorial this week and until next time, happy painting! 🦆


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