How to Paint a Watercolor Flamingo – 6 Min Tutorial

by Volta

Happy Color Snack Sunday!

For this week’s tutorial, let’s sketch a flamingo bird!

The watercolor flamingo sketch just so happens to also match the similar color scheme I’ve been using in several past tutorials. And it’s still very summery and fun.

This tutorial was inspired by the Creative Bug monthly challenge with August Wren (Jennifer Orkin Lewis). The one I did for the challenge was in gouache, and I thought it would be fun to try painting a watercolor flamingo with the wet-on-wet technique.

Decorate your sketchbook or turn this into a ‘Thank You’ or ‘Just Wanna Say Hi’ card and send to your best friend.

Happy Sketching!

(some of these posts may contain affiliate links, which are at no extra charge to you, but help me keep running this blog)

Quick Instructional Video for How to Paint a Watercolor Flamingo

(Recommended) Watercolor Supplies:

    • watercolors
      • colors used in this tutorial: pastel pink and pastel blue from Prima Watercolors
    • watercolor paper
    • Water brush
    • Paper towel/towel
    • Your creativity
    • A photo of a flamingo for reference


Let’s get to sketchin’!

How to Sketch a Watercolor Flamingo

Step 1. Wet the paper

Wet the watercolor paper with a thin layer of water. In this case I am using a flat brush to cover the whole area quicker.

For the wet-on-wet technique it’s important to not add too much water.  You want a smooth, glazed surface, instead of paper that is dripping with water.


Step 2. Sketch the neck of the flamingo.

Start sketching the shape of the bird with pink watercolor.
The neck of the flamingo bird will resemble a hook shape. You can also pretend it is the shape of number 2 but backwards.


Step 3. Sketch flamingo’s body
To sketch the body of the bird, sketch an oval-like shape with a little tail on the left-hand side.


Step 4.Fill in the shape
I used the pastel red from the Prima Watercolors to add a little feather lines on the body of the flamingo.

Step 5.Flamingo’s legs
Sketch the legs as two lines, almost perpendicular, crossing each other.

Step 6.Sketch the beak of the flamingo

Step 7. Fill in the background

Fill in the background with a blue shade of watercolor. I am using the blue pastel here and really love the contrast between the blue water and the pink flamingo.

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