How to Paint One Stroke Hummingbirds with Donna Dewberry
Hummingbirds, with their brilliant colors, are some of North and South America's smallest birds measuring only three to five inches in length! Did you know they flap their wings approximately 50 times per second and that they come by their name because of the beating sound their wings make? Keep reading to learn how to paint hummingbirds using the One Stroke method developed by artist and teacher Donna Dewberry. Use the links below to jump to the supply list as well as the individual parts of how to paint a hummingbird.
Video | Supplies | Hummingbird
How to Paint a Hummingbird
- Begin by double-loading a No. 10 Flat brush with Sap Green and Lime Green.
- If desired, you may also add a touch of Wicker White to the Lime Green side of the brush. If you have a second No. 10 Flat brush, you can also have it loaded with paint ready for the next step. Double-load the second No. 10 Flat brush with Magenta and Wicker White.
- With the double-loaded green brush, just touch the surface on the chisel edge of the brush while holding the brush upright and keeping Sap Green to the outside of the stroke.
- Paint half of a grape shape while keeping the Sap Green to the outside edge of the stroke.
- This stroke will form the back of the hummingbird's head.
- Lift the brush off of the surface after completing this stroke.
- Next, still using the Sap Green and Lime Green double loaded brush, paint a long One Stroke or slider leaf.
- Begin the stroke at the base of the hummingbird neck and stroke the length of his body keeping Sap Green to the outside edge.
- Release pressure and lift back up ending the stroke on the chisel edge of the brush at the bird's tail.
- If you did not have two No. 10 Flat brushes, clean the brush by rinsing in water and then double load the same brush with Magenta and Wicker White.
- While holding the brush vertically upright so that the handle is pointing to the ceiling, lightly touch the surface with the chisel edge of the brush just inside the cheek area.
- While keeping Magenta to the outside edge, paint a small grape stroke then lift the brush off the surface creating the bird's cheek.
- Continue painting a long One Stroke leaf or slider leaf to the front of the bird's green backside.
- Be sure to keep Magenta to the outside and Wicker White to the inside.
- End this stroke back up on the chisel edge of the brush.
- Be sure to meet up at the same ending point of the Sap Green/Lime Green stroke.
- All the remaining strokes will be painted with a double loaded No. 10 flat brush that is loaded with Sap Green and Lime Green. If desired, a touch of Wicker White can be added to the Lime Green side of the double loaded brush.
- The next stroke will be a One Stroke leaf stroke to create the hummingbird's back wing. Begin on the chisel edge of the brush keeping Sap Green to the top edge of the stroke.
- Position the brush right at the bird's neck.
- Touch the surface then apply pressure creating the width of the bird's wing.
- Release pressure and end the stroke back up on the chisel edge at the tip of the hummingbird's wing.
- Next, individual feathers are painted on the Lime Green side of the wing.
- Using the chisel edge of the brush, lead with Lime Green.
- Keep the brush handle upright pointing to the ceiling
- Paint individual daisy petal strokes using very light pressure creating very small strokes. Begin at the tip of the wing.
- Then, paint several additional feathers across the wing to the base.
- Each feather is painted stroking into the wing rather than pulling out from the wing.
- The hummingbird's back wing is complete.
- Repeat these same steps to paint a forward wing.
- Touch the surface just inside the hummingbird's body.
- Keep Sap Green to the outside edge and apply pressure.
- As before, release pressure on the stroke and lift to a chisel edge to create the base of a second wing.
- Continue repeating the wing steps by adding the individual feathers to the forward wing.
- Remember light pressure and pull the stroke into the wing.
- Lead with Lime Green.
- Because this wing is forward, more of the wing is exposed. Therefore, there are additional feathers to be painted reaching the curve approximately three-fourths of the wing.
- While the same No. 10 Flat brush is double loaded with Sap Green and Lime Green, paint individual tail feathers.
- This process is the same as the wing feathers. Use only the chisel edge, lead with Lime Green and paint with light pressure on the brush.
- Begin with the center tail feather. Then, fill in with feathers slightly shorter on either side of the center feather.
- Continue painting feathers until the tail is full and complete.
- The hummingbird body is complete except for a few details.
- Load a No. 2 Script liner brush with thinned Sap Green.
- Touch the surface where the pink cheeks meet the green at the front of the bird's head.
- Apply pressure and move slowly towards yourself.
- Release pressure and lift the brush to end the beak stroke.
Your completed One Stroke hummingbird should look similar to the one shown here.
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Watch Donna Dewberry Paint Hummingbirds
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Purchase Supplies Needed to Paint Hummingbirds Using the One Stroke Method by Donna Dewberry
In addition to the Plaid supplies listed below, make sure you have a brush basin or container for water as well as paper towels on hand.
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FolkArt ® Mediums - Floating Medium, 2 oz.
FolkArt ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paints - Lime Green, 2 oz.
FolkArt ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paints - Wicker White, 2 oz.
FolkArt ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paints - Licorice, 2 oz.
FolkArt ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paints - Magenta, 2 oz.
Folkart ® Brush Sets - Artist Variety Set, 10 pc.