Let’s Paint the Rooster

2017 is the Chinese Year of the Rooster and so we have all reasons to paint the rooster. The roosters are also decorative birds like the peacock because of their feathers and can be painted in different styles and in different art media. 

For inspirations, we visit two countries where people paint their roosters in their own distinctive folk art style. Children will love to paint these styles of roosters.

Rooster of Barcelos

‘Rooster of Barcelos’  has a simple yet symbolic shape. This is considered to be the unofficial symbol of Portugal and it is a common sight to find these good luck roosters as souvenirs, on ceramics and embroidered.  Also known as Galo de Barcelos, this rooster symbolizes honesty, trust, integrity, and honor and everyone should have one in their house to bring them luck.


The shape of these roosters are unique and seem to balance them beautifully. They stand tall and head high and the body is adorned with dots of contrast colors. The decorative hearts bring additional focus on the birds.

The rooster on the right was painted to give a ceramic look to the painting. The shape is flatter and the delicate Portuguese patterns give an elegant finish they give to the rooster. Use ultra fine point markers to sketch these designs. 

Paint a rooster in black and silver to give an antique silver look that you see in keychains and jewelry. Try painting a rooster with blocks of paint too.

See more of these roosters and paint one yourself.


Polish Rooster folk art

Wycinanki is a traditional Polish folk art.  They are designs created from paper cutouts. These traditional paper cuttings have flowers, leaves and yes, a lot of roosters. They are used as decorations by Polish peasants and are hung from the ceiling beams to make the house look cheerful. The designs are intricate and the cutouts are laid on top of one another to create a bright design. 

Here I have used painted paper to create the rooster. Usually it is painted using plain colored paper.

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