In this blog post, I’ll show you how to draw a colourful peacock feather with watercolour pencils. It’s easier than you might think when you break it down colour by colour, and the water does the hard work of blending for you!
I love peacock feathers for the beautiful iridescent colours. When I sat down to draw one, I thought I was challenging myself to do something pretty difficult. I was prepared to end up with something that looked like a three-year-old had drawn it!
But when I really thought about it and looked carefully at the colours, I realised that it was really just a matter of tackling one colour at a time.
I figured watercolour pencils would be perfect for this project. You have the control of holding the pencil and precisely applying the colour to the page, but know that when you apply water with your paintbrush, the blending is done for you.
Although there are a few steps to this tutorial, this is a relatively straightforward project to achieve. I’ve included a step-by-step photo guide below so you can see how the project builds up. What starts life as a blue kidney bean on a page becomes a glorious peacock feather in very little time!
How To Draw A Peacock Feather With Watercolour Pencils
- Thick paper (or watercolour paper if you have it)
- Watercolour pencils
- A small paintbrush
- Some water
Draw a kidney bean shape in dark blue roughly a third of the way down the page. Add a little black on the very top edge and some dark purple down the middle.
Draw a sky blue circle around the kidney bean and colour it. Add a little medium blue up into the notch of the kidney bean.
Draw a medium brown egg shape around the outside and colour it.
Next, colour a ring of pale yellow-green.
Draw a dark green eye shape around the outside. Make the bottom really pointy. The top doesn’t need to be neat so leave it a little rough.
Add some strokes of very dark blue-green into the other green.
Draw a line of brown up through the centre, through the point of the green shape a little way.
Make strokes out from the brown stem (is that the right word?!) of the feather. The strokes don’t need to be really neat, or perfectly shaped. Work a few brown strokes into the green at the very top of the feather.
Add some of the medium green you used for the bulk of the feather along the brown strokes. Add a few more green strokes around the top of the feather.
Now take your paintbrush and wet it slightly. Start to apply water to the pencil marks, starting with the bottom of the feather and working in the same direction as the pencil marks. The green and brown should blend together nicely.
Rinse your brush and begin to apply water to the individual colours of the top of the feather. Rinse your brush in between each colour, and be careful not to apply too much water in the detailed areas, or the colours may run when you don’t intend them too. If you want to blend them a little, make sure the brush isn’t too wet so you have a bit more control.
When it comes to the wispy bits at the very top, make sure you run the brush in the direction of the pencil strokes to keep the shape.
Leave it to dry, and your peacock feather is all done!