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Wednesday WrapUp Summer Birds

Folk Art: blue red-breasted birds on red branches with white and blue flowers


Each Wednesday check this blog for a strategy, process, or reflection for illustration with the iPad app ProCreate. This Wednesday Wrap Up is a wrap up of a project from a Jennifer Nichols class using an Este Macleod palette: Summer Birds: Folk Art: blue red-breasted birds on red branches with white and blue flowers


I have been illustrating using only the limited palettes of Este Macleod’s free class of weekly palettes. This week, Este Macleod’s  limited palette  prompt 27 includes the American flag colors: Old Glory Red, Old Glory Blue and White. I wanted to draw birds again and so meandered over to my favorite art community, Jennifer Nichol’s Creative Journey Community.  I subscribe to the community and the classes so I was able to take the Folksy Birds and Fantasy Florals class.

A few of Jen’s classes

About the Class

What I love about Jen’s classes is her clear and step by step process that allows the participant to adjust and create their own adaptations using her textured paper and brushes, which are part of the class at no extra charge. This particular brush set includes color-changing brushes, which she clearly demonstrates several times on their use and how to adjust the brush for color changing or no color changing. The set includes flower templates and bird sketches to help with those of with less skill [yes, that’s me].

I mostly stayed with the same color. In addition to the brushes in this provided set, I also used Jen’s Micron 2 brush and one of her May Pattern brushes.

The most difficult part was adjusting to the limited palette of only three colors, which we are allowed to augment with a lighter or darker color so the featured colors pop. So, the background technique Jennifer shares– with the dark gray– worked perfectly for this palette. The texture brush included is awesome– very subtle but easy to cover an area, large or small.

Besides the techniques from this class, I also added shading and highlights with the provided texture brush.

Three Versions

I ended up with three versions– one with the plain background, one with a floral background, and the last one I love with the floral background with a lover opacity.


In the replay, you’ll see me playing with the brushes to get a feel for how they work– that’s very helpful before starting a new set and project, and Jennifer suggests it in her class. You’ll also see me redoing things at least three times. Twice because I colored on the wrong layer [I know you do this too– LOL], and the other because I could not get the leaves to look like leaves. I tried adding veins but that was way too busy for the size of leaves I chose.

I was very delighted with the final birds– the little blue birds with red breasts fit with the color combination and I liked how I added the highlight and texture. I am still not as daring with the white folksy line part, but they did turn out– those cute birds.

Enjoy the replay:

Try It

So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. I hope this inspires you to take a look at Jen’s community and Este’s free palette class– great resources for any artist and I truly appreciate the sharing and teaching of these two teachers.


Este Macleod

Jennifer Nichols

With whatever skills you’re learning, with wonderful artists to learn from, I hope you find a way to give joy to others by sharing your work. See the Artists Resources page for links to more inspirational teachers.

I look forward to your sharing, and please continue to be a part of the  #warmup4art series to learn and enjoy our work together! See my sharing at IG @42Sheri and Twitter @42Sheri.

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