Each time I offer Drawing and Painting Feathers, students tell me that the process of painting feathers helps them relax. Actually, in some cultures, ( i.e. Native American) feathers are believed to have healing properties.
I ask each student to pick a feather that resonates with them. They then learn the various parts of the feather: quill, rachis, barbs, proximal and distal barbules, plumaceousbarbs, etc. Once familiar with the anatomy, they proceed to transfer their drawing onto watercolor paper and begin the painting process.
Even those that have little to no experience with watercolors, feel a measure of success in painting feathers and find it very satisfying and calming.