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Paint Rooster Comb, Wattle and Legs

Let’s paint the Rooster’s comb, wattle, and legs with the reds and the yellows. Starting with these elements lets each coat dry so you can add another.

Most reds and yellows are not opaque in acrylic paints so planning on adding many coats to get the coverage you want is key.

Undercoat with White Rooster Comb, Wattle and Legs

This is optional. I did a test portion on the Rooster comb to see if it would lift the brightness or the red and if I preferred that over just added coats of the red with other colors to brighten.

For links to the prior lessons in this series see the links at the base of this post.

Using a #10 flat brush paint in areas you wish to undercoat, here I did the legs.

Note: we will be using the #10 flat brush throughout this portion of the rooster painting

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undercoat rooster comb and lets with wicker white

When painting reds or yellows over a dark color it can be helpful to undercoat with white. Testing is a great way to see if it will give you the effect you want. As you see the progress of this painting you will note the difference of where the white is.

Paint the ear lobe white. It will remain white.

Painting the Rooster Comb

Load the brush with Cardinal Red and stroke in the rooster’s comb. Just fill it in. There is no special technique.

painting red on the rooster comb

Don’t worry about being perfect and exactly on the lines. It will all come together. Note how different the red color is over the part undercoated and the part not.

Add a touch of Yellow Ocher to the Cardinal Red. Sometimes adding Yellow Ocher can help Cardinal Red become more opaque. Leave it streaky.

Paint the Rooster Wattle

Load the #10 flat brush with Cardinal red and fill in the wattle area.

(This demo piece looks darker because it already has two coats of red on it, the first coat won’t look so red, just FYI.)

With the corner of your brush or another painting tool you feel comfy with and paint the eye with Yellow Ocher.

paint rooster wattle

Paint Legs and Beak

Paint the legs with Yellow Ocher. Use the chisel edge of your brush to pull in the Yellow Ocher with slicing strokes. Use the corner of the brush to paint in the beak. Need to use a smaller brush? Feel free to.

Related: Learn Basic Brush Strokes

Paint rooster legs and beak with yellow ocher

Undercoat feathers

Using Cardinal Red start painting in the neck feathers using the chisel edge of the brush. This will be an undercoat so the red will give the golden color we will add later a glow.

To add depth add a touch of Burnt Umber to one corner of the brush along with the red, just a touch. Leave out the Burnt Umber on some of the strokes to vary the colors.

Layer the strokes. (the video linked at the end of this lesson will be very helpful in showing you what I mean)

Paint neck feathers

Add More Layers

On the Rooster wattle second coat paint with just Cardinal Red.

For the Comb add a touch of Pure Orange to brighten it up. You can still tell where the white was undercoated on the comb.

Using the chisel edge stroke add a second layer of feathers on the neck with Cardinal Red and some Pure Orange. Don’t completely cover the first layer, let some of the background color shine through. The small patch above his wing is Burnt Umber with the Cardinal Red.

The patch at his bum has the first layer in Cardinal red and Burnt Umber then the second coat is just Cardinal Red. Again, don’t cover the first layer completely.

Legs and Beak

Add another layer of Yellow Ocher to the beak, eye and legs. Your rooster should look something like this.

The video should help you see exactly what I am doing.

Paint rooster comb video

Next up we will start on his body.

Happy painting!

Paint Rooster Comb, Wattle and Legs

Paint Rooster Comb, Wattle and Legs

How to paint the roosters comb, wattle, legs, beak and underfeathers. A step by step painting tutorial to get started on the Rooster painting in our 10, 20, 30 minutes or less painting series.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Plaid Folk Art Paint:
  • Cardinal Red
  • Yellow Ocher
  • Burnt Umber
  • Wicker White
  • Pure Orange


  • #10 flat brush


See blog post for step by step instructions


Colors are optional, these are the ones I used but you can swap out any for what you have.

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10, 20, 30 minutes to Paint – Rooster
How and Why to Gesso your Canvas
Paint the Rooster Background
Transfer the Rooster Pattern

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