how to draw a bird with colored pencils

Learning how to draw a realistic bird in color pencil is challenging, but worth the effort. With the right approach and some patience, you can create a stunning piece of art that captures the beauty of these amazing creatures.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a realistic bird step-by-step in color pencil, from sketching the initial outline to adding the finishing touches. Let’s begin!

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The nuthatch’s dorsal, or back, feathers, are bluish-grey in color.

Use a white Goldfaber color pencil to blend the colors on the branch. Wherever necessary, use the same white pencil to soften certain areas of the bid.

Study the pattern of feathers over the bird’s whole body. Use an extra-short, black Pitt Artist Pen with a superfine tip to recreate them in tiny strokes. Give the nuthatch a mossy branch to sit on.

Using the extra-fine tip black Pitt Artist Pen, make a banner in the upper left corner of the page. Use the same pen to add some identifying information about the nuthatch inside the banner.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed today’s Pitt Artist Pens tutorial and that you will take some time to observe the local wildlife!

Steps In This “Drawing A Realistic Bird” Tutorial:

  • Gather supplies.

  • Sketch the outline of the bird.

  • Add in a few darker anchor points.

  • Begin building a light base color layer.

  • Create texture with cross-hatching, stippling, and layers.

  • Add depth and polish with burnishing.

  • Add highlights and finishing touches.

Sketching The Basic Shapes Of The Bird

Once the reference image has been selected, begin drawing the bird’s basic shapes. Make very light strokes to outline the bird’s head, wings, and body. Concentrate on capturing the bird’s general form and dimensions. This will assist you in building a solid drawing foundation.

Many colored pencil artists will transfer or trace their sketch onto the paper. Tracing keeps you from having to do a lot of erasing. The more you erase, the more the paper breaks down. If you already have a drawing of a bird, you can use a lightbox or window to trace your initial onto the surface you will be working on. You can also use transfer paper.

In the above, you can see that I did a very light sketch with a sepia-colored pencil. My thought process was to start out with a watercolor pencil, blend it out with water to “erase” mistakes, and add wax and oil-based pencils on top after it was dry. I didn’t actually do this for some unknown reason. The reason I thought about it this way is because oil painters paint fat over lean.

Nevertheless, I don’t see any strict guidelines regarding application methods in the universe of colored pencils, so this tactic might not work. If you think this strategy makes sense, there’s no harm in giving it a shot. Using light layers, which are comparable to glazing with oil paint, is a painting technique that can be applied to colored pencil drawings.