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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

U & ME + 3

By Pamela Cassidy

My ‘Love Birds’ pattern from the January 2020 Blog received a lot of interest.

Thank you, fellow painters! So, I thought it would be fun to paint a series of four patterns that will follow our feathered friends through the seasons. U & Me + 3 find this happy couple enjoying a beautiful spring day in anticipation of three little ones on the way.

I began painting over 15 years ago. As a busy mom of three young boys, I craved a little time to myself and began taking decorative painting classes. I primarily paint with acrylics, but I also enjoy working with oils; and recently, I’ve discovered that watercolors can be fun too. I continue to learn from and be humbled by so many talented artists and gifted instructors. It’s very exciting to now create my own designs and share them with you.


Artist’s Loft, 6x6 Back-Stapled Traditional Canvas, Level 1, available at Michael’s

(in-store and online)


Alizarin Crimson DA179

Antique Gold DA09

Baby Blue DA042

Blue Chiffon DA193

Brilliant Red DA145

Burnt Umber DA064

Canyon Orange DA238

Charcoal Grey DA088

Cool White DA240

Driftwood DA171

Foliage Green DA269

Hauser Medium Green DA132

Khaki Tan DA173

Lamp Black DA067

Payne’s Grey DA167

Plantation Pine DA113

Sable Brown DA061

Slate Grey DA068

Soft Black DA155

Williamsburg Blue DA040


Folk Art Blending Gel #867

Liberty Art Acrylic Matte Varnish, #LS28550


Royal & Langnickel Zen ¾” Angle Shader

Artist’s Loft Vienna 3/8” Angle Shader

Loew-Cornell 7400C ¼” Angle Shader

Artist’s Loft Vienna 2 Round

Artist’s Loft Vienna 0 Round

Loew-Cornell 4 Round 7000C

Artist’s Loft Vienna 10/0 Liner

Artist’s Loft Vienna 2 Filbert

Loew-Cornell ¼” Filbert Rake 7520


Tracing Paper

Black Graphite Paper


Paper Towels


Palette Paper

Hair Dryer (optional)

Practice Surface (optional)


I recommend a practice surface to try techniques before working directly on your surface.


1. Trace pattern onto tracing paper.

2. Transfer horizon line onto canvas. The sky will be painted using Baby Blue, Blue Chiffon, Cool White, and Blending Gel. Using the ¾” angle, pick up blending gel on the tip of your brush. Starting with Baby Blue at the top of the canvas, begin applying paint in horizontal strokes. Continue with Blue Chiffon down to the horizon line and blend the colors where they meet. Add Cool White for a hint of clouds in the sky. Add Blending Gel as needed in small amounts to blend colors until you are happy with your sky. Dry thoroughly with a hairdryer.

3. The ground will be painted with Foliage Green, Hauser Medium Green, a small amount of Cool White and Blending Gel. With the ¾” angle, pick up blending gel and Foliage Green on your brush and start painting from the horizon line in horizontal strokes. Continue with Hauser Medium Green to the bottom of the canvas. While your paint is still wet, add in some Cool White to the ground on the upper left and center of the ground. This should be subtle. Dry thoroughly with a hairdryer. Float lightly under the barn with Plantation Pine.

4. Transfer the main lines of the dogwood tree onto the canvas. The smaller branches, leaves, and flowers will be added later. Using the #4 round, base the tree with Charcoal Grey. Working wet-on-wet, add in streaks of Sable Brown and Slate Grey to give the tree texture. Dry thoroughly. Transfer in the heart, and base with Khaki Tan. When dry, add lettering with Burnt Umber using the liner brush. Add the smaller branches to the dogwood using the liner brush and Charcoal Grey. The leaves are done with Hauser Medium Green using the #2 filbert. Pull and twist the filbert in one short stroke to make the leaves. The flowers are dabbed in using the liner brush with Cool White and a touch of Alizarin Crimson. Add the leaves and flowers randomly and make the tree as full as you want it to be. I didn’t make my tree too full because I wanted the mama bird and nest to be the focal point.

5. Transfer the fence to the canvas. Paint the fence one post at a time. Using the #4 round, base the post with Charcoal Grey, working wet-on-wet pull in Driftwood using vertical strokes, and then some Cool White. Use Driftwood and Cool White to add highlights to the top of the posts. The horizontal wood is done the same way as the fence posts. Float Soft Black using the 3/8” angle brush on each side of the horizontal wood next to the fence posts. This will push the horizontal wood behind the posts.

6. The grasses at the bottom of the fence posts are done with Hauser Medium Green, Plantation Pine, and Foliage Green using the #2 round. Dab in some small flowers using the liner brush and a mixture of Alizarin Crimson and Cool White.

7. Transfer in the exterior lines of the barn. Using the ¼” angle, base the house with Williamsburg Blue. Float Payne’s Grey on the right side of the barn from the base to the roofline. Using the rake brush, pull in some vertical lines on the barn to resemble wood. Base the roof in Soft Black, outline in Slate Grey. Transfer in the lines for the barn doors and opening for the stable. Base the barn doors in Payne’s Grey, outline the doors and add the crosshatch and handles in Slate Grey. Base the stable opening in Lamp Black. Transfer in the outline of the horse. Base the horse with Sable Brown using the liner brush. The mane and tail are a mixture of Sable Brown and Cool White. Transfer in the lines for the stable gate, using the liner brush paint Slate Grey.

8. Transfer the birds and the bird’s nest. Base the female cardinal Khaki Tan and the male Brilliant Red. Transfer in the details on each bird. Both bird markings are painted the same, but with a variation of color. Starting with the female, float a highlight of Antique Gold on the belly using the ¼” Angle. Then float Soft Black to form the wing.

Use Brilliant Red float color onto the tail and the wing. The red coloring should be soft and subtle. Using the #0 Round base the beak in Canyon Orange and the black mask and the throat with Lamp Black. Dot the eye with Cool White. The male bird is painted in the same manner using the same brushes. Use the same colors for the mask, beak, and eye. Float the wing and feathers in the same manner as the female, using Soft Black.

9. Base the nest with Burnt Umber using the 0 round. With the same brush or the liner, add strips of color with Sable and Khaki Tan to resemble twigs. The three eggs are painted with Blue Chiffon.


Let your project dry thoroughly overnight. Once completely dry, apply one or two coats of varnish using the ¾ inch Angle Brush.



Pattern and all photos ©2020 Pamela Cassidy

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