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Step by Step How to Paint a Bird’s Nest in Acrylic Paint

Hi everyone!  I know you have been asking for another no art skills required painting tutorial, so I thought how to paint a bird’s nest would be perfect for spring! I did this one on a branch for the tutorial,   you could just do one giant nest on a canvas with the same technique.YOu can paint a nest a step by step tutorialThis bird nest painting is so cute to add to your spring decor. It can be painted on any size canvas, so you can make a few cute little ones, or a large mantelpiece.

How to paint a nest picture no art skills required!

Supplies tompaint a bird nest

Canvas, Acrylic Paint  in brown or burnt umber, grey, blue, green, white, light blue, and cream ,Paint Brushes and I also used a round brush and a flat brush. You can also grab a few twigs in the yard, so a faux nest from the craft store for reference.

Check out this post to learn how to paint a forsythia branch.

Step one how to paint a bird nest with a branch firstAfter base coating your canvas in light blue at the bottom and a white at the top (blend together to create a ombre effect), use a flat brush or liner brush with brown paint to paint a branch shape. If you pull the brush from right to left pushing down hard at the start and lifting up near the end, it will look more natural. Branches always taper near the ends. To add depth to the branches use a darker brown paint on the bottom of the branch.

Use a dark brown to line the branch paintingAd some little side branches, making sure they always get skinnier as they move away from the trunk of the branch. Once the branches are painted in burnt umber, add some early spring green leaves.

Add leaves to branches with green paintUse a round brush a to draw leaves. Paint  the outsides first with a reverse tear drop shape, and then fill in the middle. Adding a deeper shade of green at the bottom of the leaf and some white paint with short strokes helps it to look a little more realistic.

Add smaller leaves on a branchMake a smaller tear drop for another leaf at the end of the branches. Once that’s dry, you’re ready to paint the nest!

Paint a curved shape to start adding the nest baseIn the crook of the branch is the perfect place to paint a little, delicate nest. Start by painting a  banana shape in brown paint, or a half oval. This will create the base  for the nest shape.

Add a layer of tan to the nest shapeThen  paint another banana on top of that in a grey or beige paint. At this point this is your guideline for your next layers of your nest materials.

Add crsss hatching to mimic a nest Dip your round brush in brown and grey and make cross-hatches across the banana.Use this painting technique following the curves. It will add texture as we layer the short strokes.

Cross hatches painted nest techniqueOnce you have all of your cross-hatches, let it dry a bit, then add more layers, alternating light and dark colors. Stop before you get to the top of the nest because we want to add a few, cute eggs first.

Add an egg to a nestPaint one egg, then add a few more. These remind me of cute, little trio of Robin’s blue eggs.

Add blue eggs to a nestMaking them overlapping will give the illusion that they are clustered in the straw of the wild bird’s nest together.

Add white to highlight  and paint the eggsPaint white paint and add out lines around the top of the eggs to define them and add a highlight.

Add highlights to robin eggs with white paintTake some more white and fill in the back of the eggshell to shade them a little lighter at the backside on your artwork to add a touch of highlights.How to paint a nest DIY step by stepOnce your eggs are shaded,go back with dark brown and start making more cross hatches covering over the base of the eggs, making them seem like they are sitting inside of the nest.

Use light paint and dark mpaint to cross hatch the nestThen go over the top of that with a bit of cream paint. By alternating the dark and light paint, it will seem like the nest has layers of different materials put together, just like real bird’s nests do.

Painting a bird nestWith a little  bit of brown paint, lightly dab speckles on the tops of the eggs. Robin’s eggs are always a little speckled. If you feel you’ve added too much brown, you can go back and  dab more speckled white on top.

How to paint a Robin's nest

And then let dry! You can go back and darken your tree limb, or add more leaves and branches like I did for my painted bird nest.

Cute painted bird nest for spring

Once you have your whole pictures painted and it’s dry you can seal it with a acrylic sealer.

Paint a bir dnest in acrylic paint on canvas

It brings a nice touch of Spring to your decor with a pale ombre backdrop behind the painted nest. I nestled it inside of a large faux nest which I think makes a cute display surrounded by a fun cast iron bird and book stack.

How to paint a nest picture no art skills required!

Have fun with this how to paint a nest tutorial  for spring!

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  1. Wow, you’re so talented Jen! I’d love to try some of your tutorials with painting. You make it look so easy!

  2. I love this painting! The white pumpkin painting I did from your fall tutorial was fantastic. (It was my first attempt to paint on canvas.) Better get my next canvas ready for the spring project! I might try an even LARGER canvas this time. It would be great for the mantel with my bird collection & framed prints. Thanks for the inspiration…

  3. I have now done your pumpkin tutorial and the egg nest tutorial and I so appreciate your instructions. For someone who has never painted before it is so great to feel like I can really accomplish something! Thank you so so much! I have one question I’d love some input on. I love how the nest painting turned out but now that it’s all done I’m wishing I would have done something to make it look aged. Is there anything I can do after the fact to give it a bit of an aged, distressed look? I’d love some input. Thank you!

    1. You can go over with with either brown paste wax or a mixture of 50% brown paint and water and give it a wash.

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