Western Bluebird - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Western Bluebird" Colored Pencil

The Western Bluebird is an energetic pioneer always looking to expand his territory. It’s early spring at Noble Meadow in Evergreen, Colorado and this male has recently arrived, robed in his finest breeding plumage.

Backlit by golden light, the diminutive monarch oversees his vast domain from a mullein stalk perch. With his abstract background framed by a simple border, the confident bluebird sits comfortably in the spotlight.

Upon close inspection, the triadic color scheme becomes obvious. Multiple shades of red, yellow and blue are applied in translucent layers on textured paper, resulting in a finished piece that sparkles with luminosity.

In order to capture the essence of this scene, the photographic accuracy of the drawing has been simplified. Also, the color saturation has been exaggerated in a way that better expresses the lively spirit of these vibrant, little birds.

The focal point of this creation is the bluebird's remarkable eye and head. By carefully rendering the details in the bird’s eye and head with more precision, the viewer's attention will be directed to that part of the composition.

Artist friend Ann Kullberg asked me to thoroughly document the unique methods required to produce this work of art. The painstaking process of drawing, scanning, writing and re-writing has been compiled into a small step-by-step booklet.

Published by Ann Kullberg, the drawing guide is part of a series of JUMPSTART lessons for beginners. They feature simple instruction that includes pencil stroke and pressure descriptions, promising that even a novice will learn the ropes in a flash by following ten easy steps.

If you’d like to learn more about drawing in colored pencil, please check out this site: Western Bluebird Step by Step


  1. Hello Dan, this bluebird is lovely.
    Greetings from Luxembourg

    1. Thanks for the nice comment. It's good to hear from you. It's been a while so I hope everything is good for you guys. I'm still trying to draw when I get the chance. I'm sure you're working as well. Let me know if you ever need anything from me.

    2. Unfortunately my friend and colleague Francis died in March, so I am kind of jobless as we were working together on several projects.
      My eldest daughter is 18 now, will be in her last year of school (bac); things are changing very fast for her. She has some english exams to pass until september since she wants to study in Scotland. My second daughter 16y will start learning chinese in september as her best friend is from China !

    3. I am so sorry to hear about Francis. That's such a heartbreaking thing, it must be so difficult. I hope things are getting better. We will pray for her and your family. Good luck to your daughters, it sounds like the future is bright for them. That's funny about learning Chinese. Our oldest son is 15 and will be taking Chinese as a foreign language this year in school. Please keep in touch.

  2. Wonderful, glad you made it into a booklet. I will take a look! I have a big box of Prismacolor pencils but have not used them lately :( I bought them years ago and have used them on and off. Question: I see prints on the right side of your blog in the right column, prints by Dustin Miller and Bern Miller. Are they your children, or related to you? Courtney - Maui Jungalow

    1. Thanks, putting the booklet together was a difficult challenge but I'm glad I did it. I hope it does well for Ann. Yes, I'm related to Bern and Dustin. Bern is my dad and he's a cowboy, art teacher and a western artist in Bridgeport, Nebraska. Dustin is my younger brother and he's a high school art teacher and a fine artist in Neosho, Missouri. They are both very good.


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