In this step-by-step plan, Michelle Dujardin shows you how to create a crane using water colours. She will take you through the process in steps, showing you exactly wat to do with which products. Michelle Dujardin uses Sakura Koi Water Colors for this project.

You can find this tutorial in her book ‘Watercolor in simpele stappen’ (water colour in simple steps). For now, this book is only available in Dutch, but she hopes to publish it in more languages soon!

What you need:

Step 1:
Lightly sketch the contours of a crane in an elegant position using a pencil.

Step 2
Use the colour Ivory Black 004 for the black feathers on the tail of the bird. Colour in the white parts of the bird using Fluorescent Magenta 268 and Turquoise Blue 154. Soften the colours using water to create various shades. Using the same 004 you used for the tail feathers, create a soft grey colour to indicate the wing.

Step 3
Fill in the dark areas of the neck, legs and talons using Ivory Black 004. Soften the colour for the legs using more water. To create the red part on the top of the bird’s head, mix the reds Vermilion 014 and Permanent Red Light 015 together.

Step 4
To create the bird’s beak, mix 004 with Purple 176. This makes the grey a little warmer. Use this same purple-grey shade to add more depth to the tail. Use Ivory Black to create extra details around the eye. Mix Turquoise Blue 154 and Purple 176 together to create the shadow in the snow underneath the bird.

Step 5
Add some finishing touches using the brush pen in black to emphasise the dark parts of the bird. When this colour comes into contact with water, it creates a slight purple-blue hue. Apply an extra layer of tail feathers and wash them out using water. Use the brush pen to emphasise the eye, neck and legs as well. Finally, add some very light blue shades to the white areas of the stomach and head.


This step-by-step plan was made for  by Michelle Dujardin (@michelle_dujardin)


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