how to draw animals and birds

Birds are a very complex topic for an artist. They have wings (a real nightmare for beginners), all these feathers and they differ a lot among various species. In this tutorial my goal is to convince you that birds arent that hard to draw if only you get to know them better. If youre interested, keep on reading!

Hadley and I are learning how to draw an Eastern bluebird in this drawing lesson. Art Supplies: Here is a list of the supplies we used, but feel free to use whatever you have in your home or classroom. We hope you have a lot of fun following along with us! Sharpie (or something to […].

Join me in commemorating the arrival of spring by creating a humorous stack of animals using art supplies! Feel free to utilize any art supplies you may have at home or in the classroom. Markers (black marker or drawing tool) Paper (marker paper is used) Markers [..]

We hope you and your little artists have a great time drawing this adorable cartoon bird with us! Teryn and I are learning how to draw a cute cozy cardinal! Art Supplies: Feel free to use any supplies you have in your home or classroom; this is just a list of the ones we used. […].

We thought it would be fun to draw a patriotic eagle in honor of Independence Day, which is approaching! Art Supplies Below is a list of the supplies we used, but feel free to use whatever you have in your classroom or at home! Markers to [..] Sharpie (or other drawing tool) Paper (marker paper is what we use)

Greetings, art enthusiasts! Today, Hadley and I are going to be learning how to sketch one of our favorite birds that we saw while on vacation in Hawaii. We’re going to be learning how to draw a red-crested cardinal, and we hope you enjoy doing so! Make sure to finish your drawings by adding a color and a […]

1. Basic Anatomy of Birds

Even though it might not seem necessary, understanding an animal’s anatomy is essential to understanding it. To sketch a bird in any position or circumstance, you must first understand how it is constructed.

Lets start with the skeleton. You don’t really need the labels or strange bone names below, so they are absent. As an artist, you actually need the construction that bones make rather than the bones themselves. Now, examine the skeleton; do you notice any differences from a human skeleton?

It’s important to note that, despite having a chest and hips, birds’ fused spines cause them to function as a single body part. This way wings can pick up the whole body rigidly. Interesting fact: Pegasus, griffins, and six-limbed dragons will never be plausible because of this. However, the only dragons that could make it to the sky are wyverns, or four-limbed dragons!

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Now that we have the skeleton firmly in place, we can construct a more enduring framework for it. Since there won’t be much movement in the spine between the chest and hips, you can draw them separately or combine them.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Pose construction is simple with the help of the streamlined skeleton from the previous step. To create a realistic pose, imagine yourself flying. The knees aren’t really useful here; they’re always kept close to the body. Where would you keep your feet in that specific pose? How would you use your hands to catch as much air as possible? It’s helpful to visualize your arms when forming a leg pose; consider your elbows as ankles and your shoulders as knees.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Every species will have a similar skeleton structure; the only differences will be in the length or size of specific components. Give any species a brief glance at a few images before beginning to sketch it. Before delving into specifics, measure the length of the neck and legs and the proportion of feathers on the body.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Now that you have all that knowledge, you can draw your bird striking a pose. I’m going to sketch two tiny, seed-eating birds (not sure which kind).

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Now its time for muscles. I won’t show you a bird’s entire musculature because it serves no purpose. To determine how much of a dinosaur is still present in a modern bird or to study advanced flight physics, you would need it, but for drawing purposes, we only need a simplified model like the one below.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

One more thing we should be aware of is that a bird’s body is primarily formed by its feathers. Birds without their feather coats resemble naked chickens, whether they are proud eagles or graceful swans. We’ll talk about the guidelines for creating feather layers later, but for now, just keep that in mind as you construct a posture and add muscles.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Now add a body to your bird.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

2. How to Draw Bird Feet

Birds have different feet depending on their lifestyle. Knowing the occupation of a particular bird will help you draw its feet accurately and without the need for references!

Lets start with raptors:

  • Raptors feet (talons) are very strong, thick, with hooked claws;
  • When the talons are closing, the front middle finger and the back finger may touch one another like jaws.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Small birds, like sparrows or jays, have perching feet:

  • The fingers are long and thin;
  • The claws are thin and sharp;
  • The feet perfectly form to embrace a branch when they close.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Water birds have usually webbed feet:

  • The fingers are long, very thin and unruffled;
  • The claws are short and not very sharp;
  • Theres a short, additional claw in the back;
  • A membrane connects all the fingers on their bottom.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Running birds have feet designed for running, such as emus and ostriches:

  • The fingers are thick and very strong;
  • The claws are more like nails, short, rounded and thick;
  • When drawing an ostrich, remove one finger.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Chicken and turkeys have scratching feet:

  • The fingers are strong and thick, spaced apart to provide greater support;
  • The claws are sharp, thick and hard.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Woodpeckers have feet made for climbing:

  • Front and back fingers are symmetrical;
  • The fingers are very long and thin;
  • The claws are strong, sharp and hooked.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

Birds, like real dinosaur descendants, have scaly feet. Generally speaking, the scales become more pronounced on larger birds. Draw a row of large, rectangular scales on each finger, then blend those scales into the small, circular scales on the feet.

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

I added the feet to one of my birds in this way:

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

how to draw animals and birds

FAQ

Where do you start when drawing animals?

When you intend to learn to draw animals you should begin with trying to draw from some photo templates. I think trying to draw from memory makes not a lot sense at the beginning. The best way is to encirle the area in which the animal will be drawn or to isolate the drawing area otherwise.