Buffalo Watercolor Painting

Lately I have been making a point to focus on the beautiful things in life. Even if that means not getting all my “real” work done as fast… I just want to create & be happy, and sometimes I focus too much on producing content, which tends to take all the fun out of being an artist, and leaves me super stressed out. So tonight I wanted to post a quick tutorial tonight on my process of painting watercolor animals. This is fun. This is my  therapy.


For this tutorial I will be doing a Bison, which is basically my favorite animal ever! Here’s a random fact for you all: I have a good chunk of Cherokee in me, so if you ever wonder why I love natural, prairie, and Native American-ish stuff, there’s your answer!

 This post included affiliate links, but I only share things that I LOVE & think you will too.

First, I sketch out my concept. I like to look at real photos of animals, which helps me get their anatomy correct. Usually I erase 3-5 times before getting the pose I want. It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together.
Next, I use a watercolor pencil to re trace the details I want to make sure to see. Then I lightly erase my drawing since paint and lead pencil don’t mix. Watercolor pencils lose their harsh lines when touched with water, which is great for blending, but they don’t erase as easily as the lead pencil. You want it just dark enough to be able to see where you’re going, but light enough so it won’t be noticeable when you paint it in.

For coloring, I used just these three watercolor shades (which I got from hobby lobby) and 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper (my favorite one to use can be found here) which has a lovely bumpy texture *swoon.*

The next thing I do is to outline my art with loose, bendable lines.

Here’s my painting process, sped up… a lot. Lol. It’s really just doing layers of paint again, and again, and again. You should let the layers dry in between (and focus on other areas) for a really nice textured watercolor look.

Ta-Da! That was easy enough, right? 

HERE is the paper I used for my 5×7 pieces, and HERE is what I use for 8×10 & the watercolors hues I used can be found in this set HERE: Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, and Payne’s Grey.

I know I’ve been hinting about a new watercolor animal series for my Shop… and this buffalo mamma and her baby will definitely be in my new print release… so stay tuned & follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss when they go live!

Have a lovely evening, morning, or whenever you are reading this post!

thank you for stopping by!

  1. Marcie

    June 17th, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Hannah, you are an awesome and talented artist! I'm in awe at all that you make.

  2. Hannah Hathaway

    June 22nd, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Thank you! 🙂

  3. Brittany

    June 21st, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    These are so cute. I've been following you for a while now and this is another cute project I'm going to attempt! You make it seem easy enough.

  4. Hannah Hathaway

    June 22nd, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Thanks so much! I would love to see what you come up with!!! 🙂

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