Birds, Butterflies & Botanicals in Watercolor

Springtime is the season for splashing some color around. If you missed my Journey Through the Natural Year course back in 2018, I’ve put together six of my favorite watercolor projects (and a bonus lettering lesson) from that course and they are now posted together on a private website as a Springtime Watercolor Lesson Collection.

Springtime Watercolor Lesson Collection
6 complete video tutorials + Bonus lesson
28 printable pdf pages

LIFETIME ACCESS $50


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These lifetime access lessons, each with video and printable pages, include:

Simple Watercolor Wildflowers
Wildflower Color Wheel
Monarch, Viceroy and Queen Butterflies
Lupines in Ink + Watercolor
Draw & Paint Birds in Art Deco Style
Kestrel in Pencil + Watercolor
Bonus: Whimsical Bird Nest Lettering

The supply list is simple and flexible. See it here:

$50 Originals – click to purchase:

** SOLD OUT – THANK YOU SO MUCH! **

If you purchased an original drawing:

  • All art is priced with a $6 flat rate shipping fee included. In the US, $6 will cover up to 4 pieces and the extra shipping will be refunded to your PayPal within 24 hours.
  • International buyers will pay actual cost, so a second invoice will be sent when your drawing is ready to ship. The invoice amount will be for any postage OVER the $6 charge included with your purchase.

MY NEXT $50 ORIGINALS SALE WILL BE SATURDAY, MAY 1

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New colored pencil course: The Best Nest

The Best Nest: Birds, Nests & Eggs in Colored Pencil
6 Lessons – Starts Jan. 1 – Enrollment Limited
LIFETIME ACCESS $65


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Using softly muted colors inspired by Victorian natural history illustrations, draw the nests and eggs of four very different birds (and the birds themselves) in colored pencil: field sparrow, purple martin, green heron and ruby-throated hummingbird.

Two additional hour-long lessons will cover:

  • How to create elegant pencil studies of nests and eggs, to help you see their structure and surface patterns more deeply
  • How to make preliminary pencil studies of birds and feathers (this lesson is a good starting point for anyone new to drawing birds, or a helpful refresher for more experienced artists)

All levels of art experience welcome! Instruction is step-by-step, and each video has multiple illustrated printables and practice exercises. The course is hosted on a private, password protected site you can visit anytime — and your access is permanent, so you can work at your own pace.

Sign up by December 5 to receive Val’s 2022 Year of Birds printable hand-drawn calendar FREE.

Free Printables: Draw a Pinecone

It’s Autumn – the perfect season for drawing pinecones. Just like a snowflake or a human fingerprint, each pinecone is unique. But all of them are constructed the same way, in an elegant pair of overlapping spirals that wind gracefully around a plump form. Once you see this pattern, the drawing process becomes much easier.

Look on the ground beneath mature pine trees to find your drawing subject. No pine tress nearby? You can use the page of licensed reference images included with this handout. Happy drawing!

Join my Christmas Birds mini course!

Christmas Birds Mini-Course
3 Lessons (PLUS video on planning for print size)
LIFETIME ACCESS  $30


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Draw and paint three traditional Christmas birds, each paired with a holiday botanical, using three different art techniques. (And just in case you want to create your own greeting cards or postcards, I have included a video on how to plan for standard print sizes.)

Use layered colored pencil to design and draw a partridge in a pear tree; paint with gouache on tea-stained paper to make a cheery cardinal with holly and mistletoe; and explore the delightful vintage look of ink/gouache resist to create a medieval influenced dove and sweet olive (with an optional angel, as well)!

Commissions: Drawing by request

Ever since I fell in love with the ballpoint pen and its astonishing capacity for fine detail, commission requests for natural history subjects have been arriving in my email inbox. Is there a favorite bird, fish, or butterfly you would like for me to draw for you? I have antique maps for most states, antique documents and letterhead on various subjects, and a generous supply of wonderful old postcards from long ago. Email me for info: studio@valwebb.com

Monarch butterfly life cycle – ballpoint and watercolor on antique postcards
Little green heron in ballpoint on 1869 Pensacola Bay map (printed 1906)
Cicada in ballpoint on original 1910 postcard

Meanwhile in the studio

In addition to my online teaching, I have been preparing a collection of drawings for a one-woman show next January. I’m drawing natural history subjects (think birds and insects, and a mammal or two) in ballpoint pen on antique documents and old book pages. I love the rich detail and slightly mysterious look! My show will be at the Pascagoula Audubon Center, so most of my subjects will be critters who make the Gulf Coast region their home.

To see more drawings and stay up-to-date as new ones are added, visit my Instagram gallery:

https://www.instagram.com/valwebbart