how to draw 2 birds

Drawing birds is a wonderful way to make yourself look more carefully at nature. Here are some resources that I hope will help you draw birds and understand them more deeply. If you understand bird anatomy you will be better at drawing what you see. I have many blog posts giving step-by-step demonstrations and details about drawing birds (see list at right). See the links at the right of your screen. You can find more information in The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds. The most important thing you can do to improve your bird drawing and sketching is to start drawing more frequently. Keep your sketching materials handy. Please leave comments and questions and I will expand these resources based on your input.

Look below the surface

Underneath the feathers, a bird looks like a plucked chicken. The wing feathers attach to the hand and forearm; note that the knee is actually hidden up under its feathers, and the joint you sometimes see below the body is actually its ankle!

Learn to see feather groups

Studying bird anatomy will help you draw birds more accurately. On certain parts of the bird’s body, bare skin lies between the growing feathers. These feather groups give a bird its form and contours, and the patterns on the feathers are directly related to the feather group underneath them. This animation alternates between a diagram that highlights the feather groups and a drawing of a Song Sparrow that shows its shape without any feather patterns.

Start with the basic Shape

Getting the basic shape correct from the beginning is the most crucial aspect of the drawing. To capture the posture, proportions, and angles of your subject, lightly sketch lines at the beginning of your picture rather than concentrating on details. To begin drawing a bird, draw a single line representing the bird’s posture or sitting angle. Draw an oval for the body and a circle for the head over this. Then stop and check your proportions. Early in the drawing, it’s simple to adjust the head’s size. You can see that I originally drew the head in the animated drawings below too large. After checking the proportions, I drew the head circle smaller again to prevent the birds’ heads from having chickadee proportions. Point out the locations of the legs, leading edge of the wing, eye-beak, and tail. When you find angles around the head and tail coverts, carve them in. The angles surrounding the head and tail aid in breaking the pattern created by the two circles you initially used to construct the bird. In the absence of this, it’s simple for your drawings to look like snowmen. Many artists skip these crucial first steps, but investing time in the beginning will pay off in the long run. After you’ve captured the silhouette’s stance, dimensions, and angles, you can go over these initial lines with a heavier pencil to add details before adding color.

FAQ

How do you start drawing birds?

Begin your drawing with large shapes to establish proportions and posture—an oval for the body, a circle for the head, a line to show the angle of the bill and eye. Imagine the point on which the body would balance, and put a vertical line for the feet right there. Draw these lines lightly and use them as a guide.