Paint a Peacock Feather

Looking for a fun and creative painting project? Then you are going to love this Paint a Peacock Feather Lesson! Learn how to paint a peacock feather with these easy-to-follow instructions.

I love peacock feathers! I had an old peacock painting I did a long time ago from a paint night. It was time for a new version for my studio and I thought it would be a fun one to do! Let’s get started!

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What will I need to paint a peacock feather?

How to Sketch a Peacock Feather

A feather on a mixed media pad.

Before you begin painting a peacock feather, consider sketching a peacock feather to familiarize yourself with the shapes and start you off with a silhouette. All you need is a pencil to sketch with and a Mix Media Pad. 

Christie sketching a peacock feather on a mixed media pad.

Let’s Sketch!

  1. Before you begin, keep in mind that this should be a loose sketch. 
  2. Start with a teardrop shape that’s a little large for the main part of the feather.
  3. Then, add the stem down from there toward the bottom of your page.
  4. Add some flair like shapes coming out of the teardrop shape for your feather flairs.
  5. Start working in your inner shapes by adding a sideways oval shape in the middle of the big part of your feather.
  6. Then, add an upside heart inside the oval.
  7. Grab your Sharpie pen and make your borders stand out more. Just use the pens to outline the silhouette. 
  8. You don’t have to do this, but I like to add some notes of the colors I would like to use in the painting.
  9. Finally, bring this sketch next to your canvas, and let the painting begin!
Christie adding notes for color selection on the sketch of the peacock feather on the mixed media pad.

How to paint a peacock feather.

Go ahead and grab your colors. You can choose any colors you want. I chose black, dark blue, and dark purple for my background. Then, I selected some bright colors for the actual feather – pink, teal, yellow, metallic teal, lime green, and purple.

A colorful peacock feather painted with Deco Art Acrylic paint.  Paint bottles metallic teal, yellow, pink, lime green, dark blue, royal blue, green, and lighter blue.

Step 1

Start by painting in your background with a rounded Filbert brush. I used black, dark blue, and dark purple for the background because I want the feather to really pop off the canvas. Leave the main part of the peacock feather unpainted, so you can still see your sketch. Let the color of the background be a bit lighter near the peacock feather and stem.

Step 2

Add in a very light layer of dark blue over the stem area so it appears lighter when the white from the canvas is seen through.

Step 3

Also, add that light layer of blue along the border of your feather silhouette.

Step 4

Fan the blue outward away from the feather.

Step 5

Next, grab a small brush, or the #1 from my brush set which is a very thin-tipped brush. Load some black on that brush and paint over where you sketched your feather stem.

Step 6

Pull some of the black along the edges of the feather border.

Step 7

Go back and add a little bit of light blue and purple along the edges of the peacock feather stem. *Make sure you get plenty of paint on your brush, even if it’s a small brush.*

Step 8

Fill in the upside-down heart in the center of the feather with a mixture of blue, black, and purple. This needs to be very dark.  You will likely need to do one more coat on this part after the first layer dries some.

Step 9

Next, grab some teal on your thin brush, and begin outlining that upside-down heart. Then, stop and let it dry so it doesn’t blend too much into the dark part of the upside-down heart.

A bottle of Deco Art Metallics paint in Peacock pearl with a paint brush with some paint on it. A painted colorful peacock feather on canvas in the back ground.

Step 10

Start filling in the rest of your peacock feather. I grabbed a little lighter teal to fill that in.  Then, add in a tiny bit of pink to the teal.  When you look at a color wheel, you will learn that when you add pink and teal together you get a nice lavender. Add a few of those lavender and pink strokes along the inside of the feather border for some vibrancy.

Step 11

Get your small liner brush loaded with the lime green. Paint lightly along the inside of the black border of the peacock feather. Don’t worry too much about the edges because this is where the feathers will come out.

Step 12

Now, start adding strokes outward away from the big part of the feather. This should be a light flicking motion and will add the illusion of the feathers being wispy. Feel free to add in some fun bright colors here. Add in different lengths too! As you add your wispy parts, make sure you are doing more of a letter “V” rather than a straight line away from the feather.

Acrylic painted peacock feather. Adding paint strokes to create part of the feather.

Don’t feel like all your lines have to be connected. This isn’t supposed to be a photo-realistic feather. You can have some random floating brush strokes.

Step 13

Start adding those “V” shapes down the stem. Add a curly wispy out the sides, too! Make it fun!

Adding curly wispy feathers to the peacock feather.  Teal, yellow, lime green, purple colors.

Step 14

Now that the middle has dried a little, go back in with your lime green and add some light strokes on top of the outer edges of your feather.

Step 15

Add a few more layers of lime green and pink to the center of your feather with light strokes for dimension. Here is where I like to add in metallic colors with a few strokes.

Step 16

Give the paint a little time to dry. Then, come in with your white paint pen, and add some light strokes along the feather.

And there you have it… a beautiful, whimsical peacock feather! See, I knew you could do it!

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