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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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ravencry Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for the very informative tutorial, I love the fact that you use laymans terms that I can easily understand. I have never painted a feather (successfully), but I bead the shafts of the feathers and wanted to add a better focal point rather than just the beads.
solwol Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
Brilliant, step by step.  Gonna have a go now.
featherpainter Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
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 Featured By Owner 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!
burrumgirl Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Excellent tutorial, thank you so much. Just love your paintings too, thank you.
Kitrei-Sirto Featured By Owner 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 Featured By Owner 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 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome tutorial thanks you so much!
Treekami Featured By Owner 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
LiliaceaeTigrinum Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
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?
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