How to Paint a Pair of Cardinals

Learn how to paint a male and female Cardinal birds with watercolors!

This course is also available in The Art Academy.

Do you want to learn how to draw and paint Cardinals? Both the bright red male and the lovely warm brown female cardinal.

Do you struggle to paint with the color red? Learn how to mix a variety of warm and cool reds and layer them so the color really pops!

Would you like to paint expressive birds? Learn exactly what lines to alter to make a grumpy bird look happy.

Do you want to design your own original composition? Learn how to combine elements from three different references to create your own design!


In this course I share all my secrets on how to paint bright red cardinals.

Once you learn my painting strategy you're going to be able to paint vibrant layers of reds in any painting!

What You'll Learn in this Course:

How to Design Your Own Composition: It's important to create an interesting balance of positive and negative shapes in your design before adding paint. In this course I show you a quick and easy way to determine what the strongest design is that's sure to turn heads!

How to Draw Expressive Cardinals: Up close most birds look angry and grumpy, and it's hard to change their expression without making them look too cartoony. I'm going to show you exactly what lines to alter to make your birds look happy while also maintaining realistic style.

How to Mix a Wide Variety of Reds: Learn the difference between warm and cool reds and how to mix them so the colors maintain a vibrant glow.

How to Layer the Color Red: Red is a difficult color to layer because of how transparent it is. I will show you how to layer a variety of reds to build volume and prevent your colors from becoming flat and dull.

How to Paint the Texture of Tree Bark: In this course I will show you my painting strategy for creating the texture of tree bark using only two techniques (wet-on-wet and dry brush). Once you learn this strategy you're going to love using it in your future watercolors to paint trees!

Who This Course Is For:

  • Beginner artists who want to develop their skills for painting birds in watercolors.
  • Artists who want to get better with painting the color red.
  • Artists who want to develop their ability to design their own original compositions.

Want to hear more on what you can expect from this course?

Watch the 1st module below and find out!

Content Curriculum

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  Tools & Materials
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  The Painting Strategy
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  How to Draw the Composition
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  Painting the Tree
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  Painting the Female Cardinal
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  What I Learned from This Painting
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Your Instructor

Tracy Lizotte
Tracy Lizotte

Hi, I'm Tracy!

I'm a watercolor artist from Southern Maine, United States.

I have a passion for painting with watercolors, and teaching others the traditional fine art techniques that have been passed down to me.

I'm here to help you develop your own unique style, while learning how to draw, paint, and sell your art!

Want to learn more about me, and my journey to becoming a professional artist? Check out my About Page.

How This Course Works:

  • šŸ¤— After you enroll in this course you will be redirected to the course curriculum.
  • āœļø You get access to ALL the modules immediately! You also have forever access, and can go through each lesson, and watch each video as many times as you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
You get full access to all the lessons in the course upon checkout. This is a self-paced online course, which means you decide when you start and when you finish. You will also be able to watch and re-watch the lessons as many times as you want!
How long do I have access to the course?
You get lifetime access. Hooray! After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What supplies will I need?
You will need a pencil, eraser, watercolor paints, watercolor paper, 2-3 round brushes (size 10, 6, and 2), paper towels, and a jar of water. Hopefully you will be able to use what supplies you have on hand, and not have to go out and buy any. I explain a list of suggested materials, and how to use them in the course, but there is no need to get any unless you want to. You also get a downloadable PDF materials list to use as a reference guide.

Wow, I loved the lesson! It taught me patience, definitely learnt a lot about red. Need to work on the feathers, but Iā€™m sure with practice it will get better. I am also fascinated with how Tracy finished the tree. Thank you!!!

- Anna Guettabi

Get started now!