Workshop: 'Birds of a feather flock together' with Liz Chaderton

Join professional artist Liz Chaderton for a 2-3 hour workshop, live from England. Filmed live on 6 May 2021.

Liz will help you paint a line of sparrows in expressive line and wash. Combining the strength and structure of ink, with the delicacy and transparency of watercolour, line and wash brings together the best of drawing and painting.

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See reference and recommended materials below:


By drawing sparrows in different poses, you will learn more about the structure of birds. You are welcome to work on your composition ahead of the class, but Liz will start the workshop taking you through the planning process. You can choose to paint as many birds as you like to really make the composition your own, but 5 or 7 would be a pleasing number… You will start by working on your composition and drawing the birds in ink, being careful to leave scope for the watercolour to add to the painting. Liz will show you how to use a dip pen and Indian ink. If you do not like the scratchiness of dip pens, you are welcome to use fineliners instead. Once the linework is established, you will use washes of Indian ink to add tone. In effect you will create a ‘grisaille’ – this is a monochrome underpainting. Once dry, you will add washes of colour, which will bring the composition to life. You can choose to make this colour close to real life, or it can become a fantasy. The choice is yours. It will be a fun workshop which will incorporate the joys of line and wash, the character of using dip pens, sketching everyday birds and using colour to express emotions. All these skills can be transferred to many other subjects.


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Reference paintings

Reference photos

Workshop painting

Materials Top-Up

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Recommended materials list

· Watercolour paper, minimum 140lb/300gsm NOT surface – size is up to you, but no smaller than 15x40cm is suggested. Aim for this aspect, so we will be painting a letterbox shaped painting.

· Pencil and eraser

· Dip pen and nibs (a medium italic nib will give thick and thin lines) and permanent Indian ink. Alternatively you can use permanent black fineliners in a range from 0.1 to 0.8mm. Do check your ink and pens are permanent on your chosen paper. Some combinations may surprise you!

· Watercolours in your chosen palette, large and medium round brush, water, kitchen towel