Red Bird

Developing bird anatomy for realism

Join Amy Shulke, a professional illustrator and marker enthusiast for a gorgeous winter bird scene- Vanilla Arts style!

Marker Painting is a completely different approach to coloring with markers. Amy teaches students basic techniques and color theory based on the way artists use paint. Instead of focusing on "how" to color a selected stamp image, Amy shows you the "why" behind color selection, shade, layering, and depth. This provides students with the necessary knowledge to color any stamp image in their collection and every stamp they might purchase in the future.

This class contains challenges for confident colorers

Skill Level: intermediate to advanced

In a 15 minute technique lesson, Amy shows you her method for creating beautiful and smooth ink backgrounds that save you time and create a quiet atmosphere to highlight your stamped images.

A bonus 10 minute lesson on bird anatomy prepares you to find and use bird photographs to improve your coloring on any bird themed stamp or coloring image.

Then in a five part series of fully narrated coloring demonstration videos, students will practice coloring the Red Bird image. Instruction includes the faux-watercolor background, entire Cardinal process, and how to add delicate snow flurries. 1 hour and 40 minutes of total demonstration time.

Techniques used:

  • Flicking
  • Overflicking
  • Push & Pull
  • Color Chasing
  • Use of photo references for accuracy
  • Cast Shadowing
  • Detail work technical pens or pencils
  • Underpainting to create marker colors which Copic doesn't make

Course includes:

  • 15 minute video- a deep-dive look at smooth & vibrant ink backgrounds
  • 10 minute video- feathers and anatomy for birds
  • 14 minute video- Red Bird background process
  • 53 minutes of video- color along style instructional video using Copic markers
  • 33 minute video- color along style instructional video using artist grade colored pencils, technical pens, and gouache
  • Red Bird digital stamp in three handy formats (PNG, JPG, or quick print PDF)
  • recipe guide
  • printable full color sample, underpainting guide, detailed color map, photo reference, and process photos

Required Supplies: full supply list included in class package

  • high-quality water-friendly marker cardstock (Cryogen cardstock in Curious Metal White recommended)
  • Distress Ink Stamp Pads (classic, not Oxide) plus Mini Ink Blenders- Weathered Wood, Milled Lavender
  • Copic Markers- B60, C3, C5, C7, E37, R12, R14, R17
  • Copic Multiliner 0.3 or Staedtler Triplus Pens- Black, Light Gray, Dark Gray (if Multiliner, use Cool Grey in lieu of both light and dark gray pens)
  • artist quality colored pencils (Prismacolor Premier recommended)- 917 Sunburst Yellow, 924 Crimson Red, 926 Carmine Red, 931 Dark Purple, 936 Slate Grey, 938 White, 1030 Raspberry, 1067 90% Cool Grey
  • Gouache- White or Titanium White
  • Fan Brush (soft bristles for watercolor rather than the firm style for acrylic or oil paints)

Your Instructor

Amy Shulke
Amy Shulke

Amy is a professional freelance technical illustrator with 25 years of experience in graphic arts. Amy began using colored pencils in 1985 and she started with DeSign markers in 1989. Colored pencils with a base of either marker or watercolor is her preferred process for portraiture and scientific illustration. She has a special passion for teaching crafters and shy artists to stretch their boundaries by adding established fine art techniques to their coloring projects.

Join Amy for fun and highly informative lessons which will not only change the way you color but the way you see color in the world around you.

"It's the OMG moments. That's why Amy's classes rock. She explains things that you've maybe noticed before but never thought much about. I love it!"

"At 62 years of age I have no illusions about becoming a great artist but. I am so appreciative of the change in my perception since taking classes with Amy at Vanilla Arts Co. Now I see the play of colors, the motion and the grace... It's a great way to view the world around me."

"I just love the things I'm learning and can't wait to start the next project. Your images are challenging for me and I like that. I'll never look at another image and how to color it the same again!"

"I warn people when they sign up for your classes-- it's not just Copic, it's sooooooooo much more."

"Thank you, Amy for your generous nature. There are many gifted people in the world but you share your gifts so freely. Your classes are wonderful and I sincerely hope that the new online project allows more and more students to fall in love with your classes."

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
Immediately! As soon as you're through the registration and payment processes, the class material will be automatically opened for you.
How much of the course will I have access to? Do you stagger the release of information?
This course is 100% FULL ACCESS from the moment you join. Work at your own pace and do as much (or as little) as you want.
How long do I have access to the course?
Lifetime access! You have unlimited access to the content for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What skill level does this class require?
This class is for intermediate to advanced colorers who are able to focus on adding realism rather than those still practicing beginner skills. You need confident blending skills and the ability to color softly and smoothly with colored pencil. No drawing skills required. Want more info? Email [email protected]
Is the digital stamp included or do I have to purchase it elsewhere?
The digital stamp is included in the class materials. No new purchase necessary.
What if I'm missing markers or supplies from the required list?
I'm very liberal about supply substitutions. BUT please understand that not all markers and pencils behave the same way, even if the colors are very similar. Every substitution you make will change the look of your finished project and the more substitutions you make, the harder your project will be to complete. If you are missing a color and want advice on alternatives, email [email protected]
What if I use a different brand of marker?
I'll be honest, I use Copic because of their brush nib. I've yet to find another maker brand with nibs as springy and juicy. I would suggest that my techniques are unlikely to work well without a brush nib... but if you've got brush nib markers and are willing to match my colors to your brand, GO FOR IT. I will warn you that I won't be much help troubleshooting any blending problems you encounter because I won't be able to test your blends myself.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.

Get started now!