Oh, the crazy things my art makes me do. 🙂  BRACE FOR SILLINESS. As well as learning.

A little behind the scenes: I almost always have chickens/roosters on the brain. I collected anything with chickens on them for a long time (De Colores! iykyk!) Last year this time, I was in the middle of a giant PURGE and renovation of my home and got rid of a lot of chickens. But….I still have a lot. And when a chicken related holiday crops up….I gotta do SOMEthing.

Thus I bring you….Dance Like A Chicken Day. Today!


National Dance Like a Chicken Day is celebrated on May 14, and encourages people to dance like chickens. The holiday has been celebrated since the 1970s as an alternative to May Day. It’s a day to express oneself by flapping wings and strutting around like chickens. 


-some guy on the internet

Tutorial: Copic Feathering (Disco Chicken part 1)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

When you don’t need feathering

If adding a lot of texture, say on the comb of the rooster or some detailed feathers, blending doesn’t matter. It’s underneath all that detail and isn’t required to be “beautiful” blending. It’ll give an overall feeling of transition from light to dark, but the line work covers it.

Also note that my coloring isn’t “perfect” when your nose is right up against the paper. Or, er, the jpg. Maybe there are some people who strive for that and achieve it, but I find it overrated! Step back from your work and look at it as if someone else made it. I guarantee you’re doing better than your close-staring will tell you.


If you came by last weekend and my blog had blown up – please feel free to go back and check out the sweet kitties now. All is fixed, as you can see…..I tell ya, I’m tired of html kicking my butt!

Long vs short runways of feathering

The shorter the space that you’re filling, the harder it’ll be to create a soft, feathered edge, whether in one marker hue or multiples. It’s just too tiny a space to expect perfection! 

But in long feathers, you’ve got a lonnnnng runway to get from a marker’s darkest value to taking off like a plane into the atmosphere. It doesn’t mean you can slow down, especially with a juicy marker—a nice consistent, speedy motion will give you the best results but it takes practice!

It’s all about value

Looking at where the chicken ended up—excuse me, the rooster-—you can see the value differences that give him dimension. I had in my head where that disco light or spotlight will be cast on him, and I did opt to go lighter, just so I have “room” to get darker if needed when adding the background.

By the way, he practiced a LONG TIME on that toe-point. Roosters can’t normally bend their feet like that, so, ya know…

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“What good is this if I don’t draw?”

Well for one, you clicked on this post or video. And if you showed enough interest to click to see what’s going on and how the magic happened, well, you could get here. I don’t know your current level of experience, but I promise you can do so much more than you think you already can.

And secondly, you can apply this in much simpler coloring projects! If you’re coloring a bird that has no detail drawn into the outline, you can add a few feathers. Even a hint at them is better than a blobby shape that doesn’t look like a bird!

You can also use feathering to blend colors in anything! Remember to match the value of the two colors: if you’re blending a midtone yellow and midtone purple, it’ll be easier than blending colors with vast value (dark/light) differences!  Light, pale colors are easier when you’re starting out – and more practiced colorists can learn a lot from blending strong colors into each other.

Send me good wishes!

I’m elbow deep in studying my disco ball and figuring out how to render it realistically. Come back Saturday to see if I did it! Also – pop into the Zoom Open Studio at Artventure….log in and go to the events tab to see what time it’ll be in your zone.


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  1. Copic Markers – https://bit.ly/31g1FYN
  2. Copic Hex Chart – https://bit.ly/3rq3AEX
  3. Neenah Cardstock, Solar White; I found a 12″x18″ pack of the 110lb at my local Kelly Paper but it’s the same as this smaller size that’s more affordable/available
    My normal fave paper is the 80# Neenah


  1. creatingincolors

    Oh.My.Goodness. I just saw (and voted for) your Disco Chicken! It is fantastic!

  2. Sarah B

    So fascinating to watch your disco rooster come to life! I only play a bit with my Altenew markers in making cards but I am seeing the vast difference achieved in layers (pardon the pun).

  3. Bev

    Wow, Sandy! What awesome feathers that you created! Your artwork is outstanding and I love it. Have a blessed day!


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