Robin and Holly


For this project I used:

These are affiliate links and if you use them you’ll get 10% off your first order and I’ll receive a small commission too.

Download the Outline

Download The Line Art For This Project

Click the button below to download the outline for this project for free. All you need to do is print it out, transfer the outline to your watercolour paper using carbon paper, pencil transfer or by using a light source like a light box. See my video on how to do this if you’re stuck!

Downloads are for personal use only. Please do not sell any work based on this artwork and please credit me if you post work online that you’ve made from following this tutorial or using this line work.

Video Tutorial on Youtube!

Step - By - Step Instructions

Draw or Trace your Pencil Outline

Find the outline above and follow this video tutorial to transfer your line drawing onto watercolour paper.

Begin to paint the Robin

Paint in the Robin’s breast with some gold. Add water all around the gold area, and keep blending the water and paint to fade the gold out into the body of the bird so the lines stay nice and soft. Add a few drops of rose paint into the centre of the breast and let it bleed.

Paint the tail, wings, body and top of the head with Sepia.

paint the Leaves

Paint the leaves in different shades of green made from the ultramarine and gold. In this painting I’ve painted each one separately and allowed them to dry. In the linked video above, you’ll see I painted the leaves in a looser fashion and let them bleed into one another.

Add masking fluid (if using it!) to the bird’s eye, and to the holly berries  for highlights. If you want to, you can add these later with a white pen or paint.

Add leaf shadows and vein details.

Add some darker areas at the edges of some of the leaves to make it look like you’re seeing the underside.

Add fine lines for veins.

Paint Berries

Add a wash of paint over all the berries. I’ve used the rose, the gold and the Winsor red and allowed the colours to mix.

Add details and Shadows

Here, I’ve painted fine lines of feathers onto the robin using Sepia. I’ve also repeated the process of painting his red breast to deepen the colour. I’ve used the same colour to paint a branch for the bird to stand on.

I’ve mixed a little blue into my red to get a plum colour and applied a shadow to each berry. I paint a curved line round the bottom of each, clean my brush, wipe it on a towel to take the excess water off and then use the damp brush to blend out the shadow. I’ve done the same process here on the leaves, adding more areas of shadow.

Paint Beak, Eye, Legs and add final touches.

Use sepia to paint the Robin’s legs and feet using your fine brush.

Mix some ultramarine into the sepia to get a dark colour. Paint a circle for the eye and paint the beak. For the beak, I painted the bottom in dark, cleaned my brush and painted the top in just water, allowing the paint to bleed from the bottom. This gives the effect of the top beak being lighter.

Add a small dot to each berry.

Remove any masking fluid once all the painted areas are completely dry to reveal the white highlights. (alternately add your highlights now with white pen or paint!)

I look forward to seeing your interpretations of this project!

if you post your work on instagram, tag me @louracheldavis and I’ll see them, and share them in my stories!