In continuing with my holiday projects as we count down to Christmas, I painted a Cardinal in the woods in Winter. I love this painting so much and I only had 30 minutes before work that I decided to paint it (probably not the best idea but I was excited)! 


I’ve always heard that anytime you see a Cardinal, it’s your past loved one that is coming to see you and that made me feel so special that morning so I decided to paint this while it was on my mind.

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Grabbing the Essentials

Before I begin the painting, I will share with you what different products I used for this winter painting! Blick Acrylics Titanium White, Dixie Belle Caviar, and Golden Cad Red Dark were the different paint colors I used.

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Another essential part of any painting (specifically this one) is the background! I used my 1 inch Paint Pixie Brush from their Turquoise Iris Collection to paint the background with the Titanium White paint. For this painting I dipped my brush directly into the jar of paint which I typically don’t do, however, I knew I was going to need a lot to cover my canvas, and also I didn’t have time that morning to set up my paint palette!

Since I was trying to hurry because I did this right before work, I misted my canvas to help the paint go one quicker and easier so I didn’t have to spend much time moving it around.

Starting the Trees

Once I got my white down on my canvas, I switched to a little bit bigger brush; it was just a random brush that comes in a pack. I dipped that into my Caviar paint color and began doing lines of brush strokes. There wasn’t any certain kind of method to this, however, I knew I didn’t want them to all be the same because in real life all trees are not the same. Making sure to mist my canvas again, I went back over the tree brush strokes to blend them, a little bit, into the Titanium White that was still wet. One of my favorite things to do with a thick canvas is to paint the edges because it just looks even more put-together, so I painted the edges of this canvas with the Caviar.

Now I grabbed my 1 inch Paint Pixie Brush again and my Titanium White to make long brushstrokes that will become the trees in the foreground of the painting making sure that they are not all the same size. I got those how I wanted them and now I grabbed my 1/2 inch flat brush and paint in Caviar to add some lines to the trees that would act like the bark and I also outlined the trees for definition. Some were darker, some were lighter, some were thicker and others were thinner.

Big Daddy Cardinal

Yes, that’s right I painted a big daddy Cardinal. Did I intend for him to be that big? No, but I rolled with it and I actually like how it turned out! So I grabbed a thin brush and began to paint the outline of the Cardinal on the branch that I made him. While the black of the bird was still wet, I grabbed my Cad Red Dark to fill in the body of the Cardinal. The black outline of the Cardinal was still wet which allowed me to bring some of that into the Cardinal for depth. For his beak, I use Black Raw Sienna and my same small brush because it was a small area.

One of the important things in a winter painting in the snow, right!? So I added water to a small splotch of Titanium White and took a brush and dipped it in there. With my palette knife, I hit the top of the brush to allow the white paint to fall onto the canvas in a random pattern.

That was the final touch to my Winter Cardinal Painting and I hope you enjoyed it! As always, you can paint along with me on my YouTube video (above) as I walk through this painting.

Thank you for your support,

Terri Stovall

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