How to Paint a Kudu Doe with Watercolour Pencils

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Watercolour Painting

Subject : Animals

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 1 hour 56 minutes

Avg Rating :

Gold Level or Higher Class

Class Description

Not many artists use watercolour pencils solely in their work. We will take a look at how these pencils work. It seems that there is a lot more information on coloured pencils than on watercolour pencils, yet watercolour pencils, used judiciously can, at times, greatly enhance normal watercolour paintings.

In this lesson you will learn:

1.  Where and when they can be used to advantage
2.  The different ways they can be applied
3.  How to paint a project using these techniques.

Latest Reviews

Wow! I loved this technique! Kudus are strange but I can adapt this for a North American Deer in the fall! As usual, very nicely done!!!

Sally paduch

Great introduction on the use of watercolour pencils. Lots of new information presented in an easy to follow manner. The subject choice was perfect for this class.


Class Tutorial


Transfer the template to the paper.

Watercolour pencil demonstration

Before you actually start using the watercolour pencils, take the time to get familiar with their use.

There are four main techniques:

Dry pencil over the paper – Colour in with the pencil on dry paper, then go over it with a wet brush.

Wet pencil on dry paper – Dip the pencil point in water, then draw on the dry paper.  This works well for rich, dark colours.

Dry pencil on wet paper – Wet the paper, then draw with a dry pencil.  Use for quick blendings.

Wet brush to tip of pencil – Pick up the colour from the tip of the pencil with a wet brush and apply it to dry paper.

Painting the sky

Lightly scrub on a light layer of sky blue around the outline of the kudu.'s head.  Use a purple pencil to make it darker at the top.  Go over the colours with a wet brush to blend in.

Painting the hillside

Using the same technique as above, colour the hillside, going in the direction of the contours of the hill.  When you brush over it, leave some of the pencil marks to add texture.

Use the same technique to create the lower hillside.  While the paint is still wet, pencil on some darker green to accentuate the foreground. Add more green marks to blend in to create texture.

Painting the foreground grasses

Use the dry-pencil-on-wet-paper technique to create a grassy effect.  Use the pencils to draw on thicker plants over the grasses.  Dip the pencil point in water to create a darker colour for contrast, then use the same technique with a yellow tone to fill in the white areas of the paper between the vegetation.  Pencil in some brown grasses in an impressionistic style.

Painting the ears

Begin the painting of the kudu itself at the top left ear, using a dark brown pencil to shade in the darkest areas.  Repeat with the right ear.  Run a wet brush over those dark areas.  Soften the edges.  Darken where needed and use negative painting to create the ear hairs.  Use a purple shade to create depth in the ear.

Use a very light touch of black pencil to create the gray colour on the outer ear.  Add dark accents around the ear's edge.  Use a wet brush to blend in the gray area.

Use the same technique to paint the other ear.

Finish off both ears with the light gray, again using negative painting to create the hairs.  Put in little shadings and details as seen in the reference photo.

Painting the face

Scrub a very light brown colour onto the face, being careful to avoid the white patches.  Use gray pencil to stroke on a hairy/fur effect.  Do not blend them at this stage.

Use the wet pencil technique to colour in the eyeball.  Work carefully to preserve some white for highlights.

Use the same technique for the half-circle shape of the nostrils and the triangular patch for her mouth.

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Pencil on more brown shading to the skin.  Use a damp brush to blend the browns with the gray tones, being careful to avoid going into the white areas.  Put in little shadings and details as seen in the reference photo.

Painting the neck and body

Pencil in the brown color lengthwise along the neck.  Add orangey colour and gray tones where appropriate.  Then pencil in the ribbed contours of the back.  Blend it together with a damp brush.  Use the wet brush-on-pencil-top to get the darker colours needed for shadows and details on the neck and use more orange and brown on the back.

Painting the tail

Use the colour brushed on directly from the pencil tip to get the distinctive look of the kudu's tail. Then use the pencil directly on the paper to do the detailing of the hairs.

Final painting

About Dennis Clark

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