This week on our Youtube channel I posted a brand new tutorial – An Introduction to Watercolour Feathers. Painting feathers has become a slight obsession of mine and I hope you can find as much enjoyment as I do when you give this a try. 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?


Feathers are a rather forgiving subject to paint because they have an organic shape to them that is loose and subject to the whim of the wind.

Perfect symmetry is not required and even if your paint lines don’t exactly replicate the feather you are looking at your subject is likely to still be recognisable.

Top Tips

My top tip for when you start to paint a feather is to use a larger brush to create the outline, in this tutorial I use the 1 x Series 100 Connoisseur Brush Round Size 12 – and you will see how nicely this builds a base for your feather. Once you have the base you can then add in shapes and blend with smaller brushes before adding the fun part – patterns!

Adding patterns to feathers using watercolour

Another fun way to paint feathers and to create a curved shaped feather is by starting off by using a pencil and drawing the stem, very similar to how you would start to paint flowers or leaves.

By using your brushes slightly differently you can create a different textured feather and by using your smaller brushes again you can finesse the pattern and brush strokes to bring the feather strokes to life.

watercolour blending of a feather

A skill for painting feathers in my opinion is not to overwork them, you want to have loose brush strokes and keep adding water so that it blends nicely.


I love to blend my colours when using watercolours and painting feathers gives you the perfect opportunity to do so. Why not start by using a darker watercolour for the stem and then as the feather starts to take shape take this stem over to the feather itself which creates a wonderful mixture of the colours which is how they would potentially look like in real life.

Blending feathers and stems using watercolours

Whilst we are on the subject of real-life feathers, my next tutorial on Youtube this week (Thursday) will be focusing on looking at real feathers that can be found on the birds we see every day in the UK.

Let me know how you found this tutorial – An Introduction to Watercolour Feathers. I’d love to see your take on them, 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 I used in this tutorial were:

Paint: Winsor and Newton Artist Quality –

New Brushes: 1 x Series 100 Connoisseur Brush Round Size 12 –

Pro Arte Masterstroke series 60 size 2/0, 3/0, 2, 8, –

Paper Daler Rowney Aquafine cold-pressed paper –

You will also need a pencil and a rubber

Thanks for taking the time to read about our tutorial this week all about feathers and until then, happy painting!



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