How To Paint A Patriotic Whimsical Bird

This whimsical bird is one of my favorite things to paint! I am sure you have seen me do it with mixed media, for kids, and in a whole lot of fun themes. Since it’s Labor Day weekend, I thought my Miss America Birdie would be the perfect, quick tutorial for anyone looking for a fun activity.

You might fall in love with these little birds after this lesson!

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Christie with Painted Whimsical Bird

Materials Mentioned

Paint the Body

The first step is to paint the body. My basic shape for a whimsical bird is like a fat comma on its side, kind of like paisley.

I used blue and white paint to fill in the body shape and color mixed them on the page for some depth. You can use a solid color too.

Cute painted patriotic bird The Social Easel

I like to use the Filbert brush for this part of the painting. It’s wide enough to fill the bird in smoothly, and I think the curved edge makes painting curved shapes like this nice and easy.

I like the tail feather to go to a fine point and switch to my fine detail liner paintbrush to achieve it.

The thing you have to remember with liner brushes like this is that even though it’s tiny, and you may think you need a small amount of paint, you actually need to load the brush enough, so you get a crisp edge on your brush stroke. 

If you don’t have enough paint, it will run out of paint fast and look streaky.

Painting a Patriotic Whimsical Bird - The Social Easel

Add Long Legs

The next step is to paint on the little sick legs. I like mine to start in the same point and then come out in a triangular shape with simple horizontal lines as the feet. 

There are a few ways you can get the thin line of the whimsical bird legs. 

The easiest way is to use a sharpie or an acrylic paint pen to draw them right on. If you are painting with kids, acrylic paint pens are a really fun way to add a lot of extra pizzaz to any painting without the stress of all those fine details on little hands.

Legs on a Whimsical Bird The Social Easel

You can also use your liner brush. One tip for having more control of those thin lines is to water down your paint just a bit. If you use too much water, your paint will become less opaque, so you only need a tiny bit to do the trick.

Also, remember that the lighter the pressure applied, the thinner the line. Even with a liner brush, you could still get a pretty thick line if you are pressing down hard. 

With the same black paint and liner brush, swoop on a few thin accent lines around the body, a beak, and a curved line for the eye. I don’t always add eyelashes, but this Miss America Birdie is ready for her glamour shots. 

Paint the American Flag

My patriotic whimsical bird has an American flag and is marching in a parade. I paint the flag pole before the wing, using the same liner brush and black paint to make it look like she is holding it. 

How to Paint American Flag The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Paint the shape of the flag with a waved outline as it’s blowing in the wind. Then, fill it with your classic red, white, and blue using the same liner brush to get the details. Don’t worry about the stars just yet… We have a gold paint pen for that!

Add a Wing

My whimsical bird has a touch of mixed media with her red paper wing. You can always just use paint too!

I always have scrap pieces of paper saved from old projects, so I decided to some red paper applied with mod podge. Then, I like to layer paint on my scrap paper for more texture. 

Finishing Details and a Touch of Gold

After the legs are dry, go back over with white stripes. I love this folk art touch and add striped legs to almost all of my whimsical birds! 

Since the paint is already on the brush, layer in some white accent marks all around.  

Miss America Birdie finished How to Paint a Patriotic Whimsical Bird The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

To add stars to your flag, flip the paintbrush around and dip the handle into your paint! This is my favorite way to add tiny spots to any painting. 

Now, let’s add some gold! I have used many gold paint pens, and THIS ONE is hands down my favorite because of the way it catches the light and shines.

Learn more about my favorite gold paint products HERE.

Miss American Birdie - DIY Whimsical Bird Painting The Social Easel

I add gold dots as my stars, along my flag pole and legs, and a few more accent marks all around. Then I created a cute little crown atop Miss America Birdies’ head. Isn’t she the cutest?! 

Watch the Full Whimsical Bird Painting Tutorial!

I absolutely love how this quick, whimsical bird turned into a patriotic Miss America Birdie leading the parade! I have lots of other Americana themes tutorials you can find HERE.

If you get the chance to create your own whimsical bird, I would love to see it! Visit my FB painting community and share what you make!