How to Paint Wings

How to Paint Wings

How to Paint Wings


This is an excerpt from my Art Gypsy Owl Painting Course. I hope you join me for the whole course! I filmed it in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The energetic focus of the course is on COURAGE and the OWL is our guide. 

In all my Art Gypsy Courses, I wait to receive the theme for the course from the land I am visiting and the nature of the journey. 

I found Lake Atitlan searching for places to fly my paraglider in March. Little did I know how magical a place this was. 

As I prepare to launch of the mountains surrounding the lake, formed by a volcano and so I was flying off the edge of an old, massive volcano, the theme of courage came screaming onto our “canvas.” 

So, together, you and I will unpack “courage” in this course AND paint lots of fun owls. You can see more images and the video montage of this Art Gypsy ARTventure HERE

Ok…here is the wing “Study” I did. I just wanted to focus on painting a mostly realistic, but still colorful’ish wing. I wanted to focus on the feathers, and challenge myself to go into the details more–this is my “work” in life usually…LOL. 

FIRST, outline the wing…


SECOND, use white, yellow, and a lighter and darker brown–any colors will do, or mix a lighter and darker brown. Paint the top of the wing the lighter brown and the tips of the first row of feathers the darker brown, leaving the right edge lighter. Don’t worry, we have so many layers to go. Take it as a wing experiment!


THIRD, add purple and cobalt blue as shadow in parts of the feathers as shown here.


FOURTH, begin to paint the bottom layer of feathers with the lighter brown. Notice how I am always leaving the right sliver of each feather open–for now. 


FIFTH, this is where it can get exciting and nerve-racking…deep breaths. We are JUST painting feathers. It doesn’t really matter. It’s fun to learn and try! You got this! See how seriously we start taking things?! Silly us! 🙂 I’m adding the “shaft” (did you giggle?) of the feather with the black down the middle and then adding white and the other colors to make the feather patterns.


SIXTH, watch for your “tipping point.” This is where you get giddy! The feathers come to life the more you add–use a “dry brush” to layer light layers of color onto the feathers. IMPORTANT & SUPER fun: see the little dark indents in the feathers? That was just like going over the outline and dipping my paint into the feather here and there. I got SO excited when I saw how adding this detail brought the feathers to life. 

NOTE: the white highlights I added at the tips of the darker top feathers and the details there… 


SEVENTH: say out loud, “tah-DAHHHHHHHH!” Love your wing! 


I hope you join me to explore COURAGE in the Art Gypsy Guatemala Owl Painting Course. Do be sure to watch the video montage–my paraglider buddy, Forrest, is a wiz with the camera. You’ll meet him in the course too… Go HERE to check it all out.

Please comment below with any questions and share your wing paintings with me! This can be FUN and you can use any colors. Play and imagine flying!!!! 





P.S. If you are reading this now–November 2019, I am hosting a SPECIAL edition Art Gypsy Owl: The 21 Day Creative Courage Challenge December 1st to 21st. There is no extra charge and you and I are going to be painting lots of owls for holiday gifts WHILE connecting to our heARTs and our dreams…calling in courage to support us along the way. Yay!