How To Watercolor Fluffy Penguins

painting Jul 02, 2020

Creating texture in any art piece helps to really elevate your work to the next level, but it can also be really challenging! With that being said, I'm so happy to be sharing with you my step-by-step guide to painting cute, fluffy little creatures. These adorable watercolor penguins are going to have so much fluffy texture that you're going to be fawning over them for days.

Using a few key materials, you'd be surprised how much fluff and texturing goodness can be accomplished with one fatal swoop of your paintbrush. It's going to be super important to trust your intuition throughout this tutorial, do NOT overthink it. Just relax and go where the brush takes you! Observation is key when it comes to your reference image, let's jump into it!








Step 1: Sketch a Penguin




Since we're painting penguins today, I suggest finding a reference picture if you're not familiar with them. Take a peek at your reference and jump into outlining your light sketch! Once you're happy with your light sketch, draw it with the fierce confidence of a penguin and remember that you can ALWAYS manipulate the shape throughout the process! You got this!

Use your eraser to get rid of hard pencil lines on your sketch if needed.



Step 2: Start Painting Your First Layer



I'm using round brushes no. 2, 6, and 12, but really, you can use one medium-size round brush. Take a peek back at your reference picture and find the brightest spots in the picture.

Grab your largest brush, load it up with really watery black paint, and paint those beautiful bright spots in your reference picture, the color should look greyish on paper. This should be your brightest layer! Go ahead and paint loosely!



Step 3: Add Black Pigment




Look back at your penguin picture and notice where the black spots are located on the body of your penguin. Make sure your first layer is still wet when painting this next part. If your paint has dried, no worries! Just repeat the first step and go on your fluffy way. 

Load your brush with black paint and slowly paint it onto the areas shown in your penguin picture. You'll want to have a lot of control, so don't rush this part. This technique is called "wet-on-wet" and it's commonly used in watercolor... look at you go!



Step 4: Add in More Colors



Wait just a minute until your painting dries just a bit (about 1 minute). Look at your reference picture again and find the spots with different colors, if your image doesn't have any other colors, just look for spots that have a medium intensity! 

Load your brush with either brown, ochre, or blue paint and gently add a few brush strokes to those spots. You can get really creative here and do your own thing! It should be able to blend with the first layer as well. Let your paint dry completely before the next step. 



Step 5: Draw Small Details with Colored Pencils 



If you're feeling iffy on this step, don't freak out! Just start by practicing on a separate piece of paper. Take your colored pencils and practice a few pencil strokes. This is going to create the base of your fluffy penguin fur, woo! We made it to the fluff! Using your white colored pencil, draw a few lines above the penguin's eyes, as well as the neck and wherever you feel you need it!

Take a gray or brown colored pencil and add more lines to get a really cute fluffy look. After your done with those touches, it's all set!


Et voila! Your lovely fluffy friend is done!



I hope you guys had as much fun as I did making this tutorial! Thank you for following along and don't forget to tag me (@mamafabrics) in your fluffy creations!


BONUS: Here is a video tutorial for you on  my YouTube channel:






Hi everyone! My name is Ania and I'm from @mamafabrics! I'm a full-time watercolor artist and illustrator for a surface pattern designer. I'm a lover of all flowers but prefer to have them on paper so they don't fade! I also happen to be a wife, mom of 3, AND an architect by profession (graduate of Gdańsk University of Technology). As an artist from birth, my creative soul never stops dreaming and that’s why I chose a freelance creative path instead of an architect career. Every day is a challenge to come up with new ideas for art, but I believe that if you work every day, practice every day, you'll be successful! 

You can also find me on PinterestFacebook, AND Skillshare!