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How to Paint a Chickadee in Acrylics

How to paint a chickadee in acrylics one easy stroke at a time.  Simple enough for a beginner! Video link included.  This tutorial takes you through each step.

This easy how to paint a chickadee in acrylics tutorial is easy and fun.  Paint chickadees on gifts, greeting cards, or on canvas painting.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link I may make a small commission at no added cost to you.

Want an ad-free PDF version of this lesson? You acquire that here: Paint a Chickadee PDF Painting Workbook to Print.

Okay, let’s get started!


Surface to paint on. (you can paint on canvas, wood board or make greeting cards). In this demo, I used a piece of pine wood, stained.  I don’t always seal the wood but if I do it is with the rustoleum spar urethane (waterbase) in matte.

#6 flat brush (comes in the Donna Dewberry brush set or the Majestic brush set)
10/1 liner brush by Majestic
White transfer paper

Bottle Craft Acrylics
DecoArt Americana or Plaid FolkArt Craft Acrylics (in parenthesis)
Titanium White (Titanium or Wicker White)
Black (Licorice)
Raw Sienna (though in the video I say Burnt Sienna, I was wrong) (Raw Sienna)
On the second smaller painting in the step by step I used Antique Gold instead of Raw Sienna
Evergreen (Sap Green)
Celery Green (Citrus Green or Fresh Foliage)
Cranberry Wine (Berry Wine)

Click here for a complete list of basic supplies I use.

Transfer Designs

Transfer your pattern to your surface. 

I used white transfer paper since this is a dark surface but if you are going to paint on a light surface you would use dark transfer paper.

For more instructions on transferring designs to your surface press here.

Paint Chickadee Cheek and Chest

Using the chisel edge of the #6 flat brush loaded with White paint, fill in the small section of the cheek and chest of the chickadee.

sorry for the blurry view but you get the idea

beginning of chickadee painting, white on the cheek and chest

Paint Chickadee Tail

Double load the #6 flat brush with white and black.

Paint in the tail feathers using choppy strokes, use the chisel edge of your brush. 

You can see the black and white on each corner of the brush. Lead with the lighter color.

(need instructions on the basics like loading the brush, Press here)

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

Paint Wing Feathers

Add more white to the brush to lighten it and start stroking in with short choppy strokes the wing feathers..they should be a lighter grey than the tail.

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

Keep adding the grey until you have the wing filled in.

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial, pamelagroppe.com

Add a bit more black and drag in the black streak on the wing.

Chickadee Belly

Clean the brush then double load with white and Raw Sienna (or Antique Gold).

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

With the same choppy strokes paint in the belly starting from the end and working up towards the neck.

Add Chest Feathers

Clean your brush, and load with just white to paint the chest feathers at the top of the belly.

A little Gold will mix in as the belly is still wet but that is okay.

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

Painting the Black Cap and Neck

Clean the brush and load it with black.  Paint on the head and neck working around the eye.

(in the video I actually paint in the eye part first but don’t let that throw you)

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

Paint the Chickadee’s eye

With the liner brush and burnt umber paint in the circle of the eye.

Still using the liner brush paint a thin line of white along the bottom rim (on one bird I brought the white line up halfway around the eye)  You decide what it needs.

painting a chickadee in acrylics tutorial

With the tip of your liner place a dot of white on the burnt umber for a bright spot.

Paint His Feet

Using the liner brush add his little feet in burnt umber or black.

Finish your Chickadee Painting

Let dry and finish with a cream wax or varathane. (my supply list has my favorite).

And that is it!

Want a step by step workbook of this post with bonus content? Just press here!

chickadee painted on small wood square

Paint an Aspen tree for your chickadee to sit in

chickadee and cardinal in an Aspen tree painting, How to Paint an Aspen tree

Happy Painting!

how to paint a chickadee

Please enjoy and share!

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  1. Okay, I found your art! Great instructions and I especially like that you simply used wood instead of canvas or another manufactured board.

    I love painting Chickadees! Have you seen Andrea Lavery and Kim Smith’s Chickadees
    and cows, etc. So whimsical and makes me feel good…….I’ve painted a few on my own…so many things to do………….

    I want to check out your she-shed. My shed is a potting shed presently (and a mess!).

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