Best seller

Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds

A course by Sarah Stokes , Artist

Artist. Upper Arley, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2020

Bring vivid wildlife compositions to life by exploring modern methods of watercolor painting

  • Best seller
  • 99% positive reviews (3.4K)
  • 58496 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Bring vivid wildlife compositions to life by exploring modern methods of watercolor painting

Artistic watercolor painting is synonymous with freedom and spontaneity. Some of the most interesting results are achieved by simply going with the flow of the paint and seeing where it takes you. Whether you are a complete beginner or a master of watercolor, there is always something new to discover with every illustration.

Sarah Stokes is a self-taught wildlife artist who translates her passions for creating art and being close to nature into expressive watercolor compositions. Her work can be found in UK galleries like Whitewall Galleries and Clarendon Fine Art, as well as others around the world.

In this course, Sarah guides you through her step-by-step watercolor process for creating an expressive wildlife composition using modern watercolor painting techniques. Start from the basics, explore artistic brushstrokes as you learn how to paint birds, and bring expressive wildlife compositions to life.

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What will you learn in this online course?

18 lessons & 19 downloads

11 minutes, 27 seconds
Tonal Values
19 minutes, 52 seconds
Colour Theory 1
17 minutes, 53 seconds
Colour Palettes
16 minutes, 54 seconds
Wet Paper
9 minutes, 19 seconds
  • 99% positive reviews (3.4K)
  • 58496 students
  • 18 lessons (3h 14m)
  • 19 additional resources (6 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

What is this course's project?

Create a watercolor illustration of birds perched on a branch using modern techniques.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone interested in learning how to paint birds in watercolor or would like to expand their knowledge in watercolor techniques.

Requirements and materials

This course is great for anyone who is a beginner in watercolor painting since Sarah begins with the basics. However, this course is also suitable for experienced painters who want to expand their illustration abilities with watercolor techniques.

As for materials, you need good quality watercolor paper (preferably 635 gsm), watercolor paints, a range of brushes, graphic black pens, and a white gel pen, white gouache or acrylic, tracing paper, kitchen roll, water pots, scrap watercolor paper for testing, a hole punch for tonal value guide, photo paper and a printer, a ruler, a pencil, and an eraser.


58496 Students
3356 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Sarah Stokes

A course by Sarah Stokes

Teacher Plus

Sarah Stokes is a self-taught artist from the Midlands region in England, a place where she finds inspiration and creates work that is full of life. From a young age, Sarah has always been her happiest when painting and drawing, using her creativity to build a successful business career before deciding to return to what she loved most.

She has created artwork for bands, restaurants, breweries, and schools, as well as giftware for clients like Enesco. Her work is exhibited in Whitewall Galleries, Clarendon Fine Art, and several independent galleries. Sarah’s prints can also be found worldwide in places like Next, Wayfair, and on Amazon.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
    • What We Will Do On the Course?
  • U2

    Materials, Seeing Tone and Understanding Color

    • Materials
    • Tonal Values
    • Colour Theory 1
    • Colour Theory 2
  • U3

    How Watercolor Works

    • Pigment Control and Basic Layering Techniques on Dry Paper
    • Wet Paper
    • Brush Strokes
  • U4

    Preparing for Our Bird Painting

    • Obtain and Enhance Photo References
    • Compositions and Transferring
    • Colour Palettes
  • U5

    Painting Our Birds

    • Painting Birds 1
    • Painting Birds 2
    • Painting a Loose Branch: Adding of Pen Work to Define Shape
    • Finishing Touches
    • More Ideas / Different Choices
  • FP

    Final project

    • Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds. Illustration course by Sarah Stokes Best seller

Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds

A course by Sarah Stokes
Artist. Upper Arley, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2020
  • 99% positive reviews (3.4K)
  • 58496 students