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Submitted on
April 6, 2007
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Feather Painting Tutorial by Novawuff Feather Painting Tutorial by Novawuff

If this still leaves questions, go ahead and bounce them off me and I'll do my best to answer...

don't tell me if I spelled or typo'ed anything though, because i'll just smack you ;}

a few more notes about acrylics, for those who are new to the medium..
there's stuff you can buy to mix them with to extend the drying time or to increase transparency without making them all runny, but I only ever used just plain ol' water. When you're blocking your colors in, just use them straight to get the quickest buildup. Once you've moved to your details, mixing them with a little water to thin them down makes it a lot easier to work them into tiny spaces. Don't overload your brush, and make sure to clean it every time you switch colors.
Since acrylics are plastic, my favorite pallete is just an old bucket lid. Once they've dried, they peel back off and you can use it over and over... acrylics dry awfully fast, but if you need to save your color blobs, you can slip the whole thing into a big zip-loc bag and it'll keep for a few days. I discovered one day that the plastic from the bag and the plastic from the lid actually brought some of my dried paint back to life, which I didn't think was possible with acrylics, but there you go!
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I paint on feathers also, I agree with Nambroth. I like my feather looking natural. During the painting process I use packing tape on the back of the feather, when I am done painting I  pull it off very slowly. Everyone has their own way of doing things, this is just what works best for me.
Also, Canadian Geese and the Sand Crane are illegal to paint on. 

imalwaystired Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a few questions! So if we were to glaze the feather, we would mix water and gloss to be able to spray? Or we could just paint the backround a solid color?? I love your feather painting and hope to do one soon!
Excellent tutorial, thank you so much. Just love your paintings too, thank you.
Kitrei-Sirto Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is cool, ive just discovered this and its cool so i tried it ^^ its fun, although my painting isnt as good as yours but its still good
o0Moonlight-Sonata0o Jan 16, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Awesome painting! Random question, do you think you could paint the entire feather?
I'm making black angel wings for a costume, and, having to drop $100 on 2 lbs of black feathers, I want to be able to reuse them. However, the other wings I'm looking at making are white with pink tips. Is there any way that something similar to this would work?
BazarDeLaNature Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome tutorial thanks you so much!
Treekami Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is perfect! I want to start painting on feathers and this will help me big time. thank you <3
I JUST discovered this method of painting and I have to admit I am enthralled! I recently started experimenting in acrylics and want something unique to do but not something that is going to drain my pocket dry. This tutorial is exactly what I was looking for. It's simple, I did like seeing the pallette lol, and left me with very few questions. I do want to ask what the fixative is that you use to hold the feather still. Is it something like hairspray? Or is it more of an actual artistic spray that must be bought?
Where do you buy your feathers?
This...I will try...It will not be nearly your work...but you have inspired me! :D
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