The Bird is the Word {New Mandala Bird Acrylic Painting}

posted in: fine art, my creations | 0

IMG_4175 Don’t you know about the bird?

Cause everybody knows that the bird is the word!

So now that you absolutely hate me for getting THAT one stuck in your head….

I thought it would be fun to show you a progression painting of how this came to be. My new fascination lately has been combining animals and geometric shapes  (like in my owl painting), and as soon as the image of mandala birds popped into my head I ran over to my computer and started playing around with the design of it.

I love creating the initial layout digitally, because I can spend more time thinking about the composition and less about getting everything to line up. It also makes it easier to arrange and re-arrange the elements until everything seems to “click” into place.


After I was happy with the composition, I gridded it out and transferred the design onto a canvas with colored pencil. To keep it from getting confusing, I used different colors for the different sections of the image.


I outlined all of the main lines in dark colors, and then used a series of thin glazes to start building up the layers of color. If you looks closely at the birds, there are subtle touches of greens and reds mixed in with the reds and blues. I lost track of how many layers I used, but I was really happy with the effect. After building up the colors, I went back in and touched up the highlights and shadows, as well and went back in and added extra details and outlines around the circles.




Lately I’ve been working a lot bigger. I’ve done so much digital work that I’ve gotten spoiled with the level of detail I can get on the computer, and by painting on big canvases I can come a lot closer to achieving it in paint also.