Bird’s Nest: A Pastels Tutorial

Oh wow. Gorgeous. That’s what we all said when Nana came in with her latest chalk pastel of a bird’s nest. Beautiful! We wanted to make one too. So Nana taught us how to weave the colors just like birds do – making layers.

Ready your pale yellow, yellow, black, dark brown, orange and dark pink.

Take your dark brown and make an egg shape. Next, take your blue and make two or three bird’s eggs. You choose how many are in your nest.

Around the edge, make scallops. Weave the edge with the dark brown pastel, just like a bird starts a nest.

Put your black pastel on its side and color around the eggs, this will highlight them and make them stand out in the darkness of the nest.

Continue with black, layering it lightly. The rusty red or dark orange makes the nest base.

Next, get your brown and get ready to draw a branch. Because a nest needs a nice spot to be safe and sound. Stretch it out comfortably under your nest. Make a few nobs on your stick so it appears real.

Highlight the edge of the nest with your orange, making those sticks stand a bit away from the edge. Weave your colors in, just like a mama bird would. Go underneath and weave. Make it flare out with sticks from the side.

Use your lightest yellow and even a pale pink to make swirls of different grasses and mosses that a bird uses for a nest. Now you are going to color your eggs. Figure out from which direction your light is (the sun shining on your nest…mine is from the left-side and top of the eggs). Leave the light on the top of the eggs and lightly color in the bottoms of the eggs. I think mine should have been more an aqua color but I went with the pale blue. Take your finger tip and brush the dark color around the eggs.

You can have fun weaving as many sticks and grasses into you nest as you like. It is just fun to see how good a “bird” you can be!!

13-year-old’s bird nest

Five-year-old’s bird’s nest

12-year-old’s pastel

Eight-year-old’s bird’s nest with pink background


  • Print this lesson: Just click the green, ‘print-friendly’ button at the top, left of this post. You can choose to print the lesson with or without photos. By clicking the ‘remove photos’ box, you may print the text directions only.
  • A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons (over 35 lessons now) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials. A simple set is very affordable.
  • The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.

Isn’t it fun to weave a nest with pastels?


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