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
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.
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 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
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)
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.
Next up we will start on his body.
- 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.