A person drawing a bird with a pencil.

Learn How to Draw Birds Easily: Unleash Your Creativity!

Are you drawn to the beauty and majesty of birds? Would you like to capture that beauty on paper? Learning how to draw birds is a rewarding and enjoyable art form that can be easily mastered with the right techniques and guidance.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow tips and techniques to help you create stunning bird illustrations. You don’t need any prior experience or special skills, just a desire to learn and a love for birds.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Learning how to draw birds is an accessible and rewarding art form
  • No prior experience or special skills are required
  • Following step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow tips and techniques can help you create stunning bird illustrations
A close-up shot of a Tufted Titmouse perched on a branch.
Photo by Skyler Ewing: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-a-bird-perching-on-the-branch-16576046/

How to Draw Birds?

Learning how to draw birds can be a fun and rewarding experience. To get started, it’s important to observe the bird you want to draw and take note of its unique features and characteristics. Once you have a good understanding of the bird’s shape and proportions, you can begin sketching out the basic shape using simple shapes such as circles and ovals.

From there, you can add more detail to the bird’s body, including feathers, tail, and feet. Pay attention to the direction of the feathers and the way they overlap each other to create a sense of depth and dimension. Adding shading and texture to the bird’s feathers and body will help to bring it to life.

With practice and patience, you can develop your skills and create beautiful, lifelike drawings of birds. There are also many resources available online and in books to help you improve your technique and learn new tips and tricks for drawing birds.

Easy Bird Drawing Techniques for Beginners

If you’re new to drawing birds, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Fortunately, there are some easy bird drawing techniques that can help you get started on your bird drawing journey. Whether you’re drawing as a hobby or looking to develop your skills as an artist, these tips will help you to create impressive bird illustrations.

Start with Basic Shapes

When you’re first learning how to draw birds, it’s important to start by breaking down the form into basic shapes. Draw a circle for the head and ovals for the body, wings, and tail. This will help you to create a basic outline of the bird’s form.

Focus on Proportions

To make your bird drawings look more realistic, you need to pay attention to proportions. The size and shape of different body parts must be correct to make the bird look true to life. For instance, the wingspan should be about twice the height of the body, and the beak should be of a proportional size to the rest of the bird’s head.

Experiment with Shading Techniques

Shading is an important technique in drawing birds. It helps to create the illusion of depth and volume, making your bird illustrations appear more three-dimensional. Experiment with hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling to create various textures and shading effects for your bird drawings.

Reference Bird Photos and Draw from Life

One of the best ways to improve your bird drawing skills is to draw from life or reference photos. Observe the birds in their natural habitat, take photos, and use them as references. This will enable you to capture the bird’s unique characteristics and movements, making your drawings more dynamic and accurate.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any other skill, drawing takes practice to improve. Set aside time to practice your bird drawing skills every day. Focus on quick sketches, gesture drawings, and simple outlines. Over time, you will see improvement and feel more confident in your abilities.

Using these easy bird drawing techniques, you can create stunning bird illustrations regardless of your skill level. Remember to practice regularly and be patient with yourself. With time and dedication, you can master the art of bird drawing.

A Blue-winged Pitta perched on a rock.
Photo by Wang Teck Heng: https://www.pexels.com/photo/orange-blue-green-and-white-bird-on-rock-120153/

Step-by-Step Bird Drawing Tutorial

In this section, we will walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a bird. By following these simple instructions and tips, you can create a beautiful illustration of a bird that you will be proud of.


  • Drawing paper
  • Pencil (2H or 4H for initial sketching, 2B or 4B for shading)
  • Eraser

Step 1: Sketching the basic shapes

Start by sketching the basic shapes of the bird. Draw a circle for the head and an oval for the body. Sketch a smaller circle to indicate the eye position and a triangle for the beak. Add a line to indicate the direction of the bird’s body.

Step 2: Sketching the body details

Add more detail to the body by sketching the wings and tail feathers. Pay attention to the angles and proportions of the feathers. Sketch lightly with your pencil, as you will be adding shading later.

Step 3: Adding shadows and texture

Begin adding shading to give the bird dimension and texture. Pay attention to where the light source is coming from and add shadows accordingly. Use short, light pencil strokes to create the texture of the feathers. Add some shading to the beak and eye as well.

Step 4: Refining the details

Refine the details of the bird by adding more shading and texture. Pay attention to the small details, such as the individual feathers and the shape of the eye. Use a kneaded eraser to lighten areas that are too dark and add highlights to areas that need more light. Keep refining until you are happy with the final result.

Step 5: Adding color (optional)

If you want to add color to your bird drawing, you can use colored pencils or watercolors. Start by adding light washes of color and build up gradually. Pay attention to the color of the bird’s feathers and beak. Allow the colors to dry completely before adding any more detail.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations, you have successfully completed a bird drawing! Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep practicing and experimenting with different bird species and techniques to continue improving your skills. Next, we will dive deep into the anatomy of birds to help you create more realistic and expressive bird drawings.

Understanding Bird Anatomy for Drawing Realistic Birds

When it comes to drawing realistic birds, understanding bird anatomy is essential. Knowledge of the structure and function of different bird body parts will enable you to capture their unique features and movements accurately. This section will provide an overview of the key aspects of bird anatomy and guide you on how to incorporate them into your bird drawings.

Body Proportions

Birds have unique proportions that vary according to their species and age. A bird’s body is typically divided into three parts: the head, the body, and the tail. Understanding the size and shape of each part is critical in creating a realistic bird drawing. For example, the head should be proportionate to the body’s size. The wings should be proportional to the body and the tail, and the feet should be proportional to the bird’s overall size.

Feather Structure

Feathers are one of the defining characteristics of birds, and understanding their structure is crucial to creating lifelike bird drawings. Feathers are arranged in overlapping layers, with the outermost layer providing protection and the innermost layer aiding in insulation. Paying attention to the feather placement and direction is essential to create a sense of depth and realism in your drawings. Remember to also shade the feathers according to light and shadow.

Beak Shapes

The shape and size of a bird’s beak can vary significantly according to their diet and lifestyle. Beak shapes can range from short and stout to long and thin, and each shape has its advantages and uses. When drawing a bird’s beak, observe their unique shape and incorporate it into your drawing. Additionally, always remember to shade the beak to create a three-dimensional effect.

Capturing Movement and Expression

In addition to their physical features, birds can be recognized by their movements and expressions. Their body language and facial expressions convey their emotions and can add personality to your bird drawings. Observing birds in the wild and studying videos or photographs can help you capture their movements and expressions accurately.

By understanding bird anatomy, you can create more realistic and lifelike bird drawings. Paying attention to body proportions, feather structure, beak shapes, and movements and expressions can elevate your artistic abilities to the next level.

A Blackbird perched on a wooden fence.
Photo by Aliesha low: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-blackbird-4774646/

Bird Sketching Tips for Capturing Details and Textures

Sketching birds can be a rewarding experience, especially when you’re able to capture their intricate details and textures. Here are some bird sketching tips to help you improve your skills:

  1. Observe closely: Always begin by observing the bird carefully. Take note of its shape, size, and proportions. Observe its movement and try to capture its essence on paper.
  2. Use contour drawing: Start with a light contour drawing to capture the basic shape and proportions. This will be the foundation for your sketch.
  3. Study feathers: Birds’ feathers are one of their most distinguishing features. Take the time to study the different types of feathers and how they lay on the bird’s body. Use light, short strokes to capture the texture of feathers.
  4. Focus on the eyes: A bird’s eyes can convey a lot of emotion. Try to capture the expression in the bird’s eyes by drawing them first and building the rest of the bird around them.
  5. Experiment with different pencils: Different pencils have different levels of hardness, which affects how dark or light your lines will be. Try using a range of pencils to achieve a variety of line weights.
  6. Play with negative space: Don’t just focus on the bird itself; also pay attention to the space around it. Use negative space to create a sense of balance and harmony in your composition.
  7. Practice often: Sketching birds is a skill that takes practice to develop. Make time for regular practice sessions and challenge yourself to try new techniques and subjects.

By following these bird sketching tips, you’ll be able to capture the beauty and essence of birds in your sketches. Keep practicing and experimenting to continue improving your skills.

Exploring Different Bird Art Techniques

If you want to take your bird drawings to the next level, exploring different art techniques can add depth and complexity to your illustrations. Here are a few bird art techniques to try:


Cross-hatching is a drawing technique where you create shading and texture by crisscrossing lines. This technique can be used to create a range of effects, from soft shading to bold, dramatic textures. Experiment with varying the spacing between lines and the direction of the lines to create different effects.


Stippling is a method of drawing where you create shading and textures using dots. This technique can be used to create a range of effects, from smooth shading to stippled textures. Experiment with the size and spacing of the dots to create different effects.

Watercolor Washes

Watercolor washes can add a beautiful and vibrant quality to your bird illustrations. Experiment with layering washes and allowing them to blend together to create depth and dimension.

These are just a few bird art techniques to try. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you and your drawing style.

Bird Drawing Exercises to Improve Skills

If you want to become more skilled at drawing birds, it’s important to practice regularly. By incorporating the following bird drawing exercises into your routine, you’ll develop your skills and gain confidence as an artist.

Gesture Drawing

Gesture drawing involves quickly sketching the basic shapes and movements of a bird to capture its essence and action. Set a timer for 30 seconds and draw the bird in your sight, capturing the pose and movement. Gesture drawing exercises help you develop observation skills, anatomy understanding and helps you prepare your hand for longer drawings.

Quick Sketches

Quick sketches are similar to gesture drawing, but allow for a bit more detail. Spend five minutes or less drawing a bird, focusing on the basic shapes and details. The key is to work quickly and capture the bird’s essence, rather than creating a fully rendered drawing. Quick sketches train your eye to observe details quickly and enhance your ability to capture complex forms in a given time frame.

Capturing Different Bird Poses and Angles

To become a skilled bird artist, it’s crucial to know how to draw birds from different angles and positions. Study different bird species and learn to recreate them in different poses and from different perspectives. Take time to observe the birds, and try to capture the unique characteristics and shapes of each species. Drawing birds from different angles enhances spatial awareness and promotes the creation of more complex illustrations.

Finding Inspiration for Bird Drawings

As an artist, finding inspiration is essential to keeping the creative spark alive. When it comes to bird drawings, there are plenty of ways to find inspiration and keep your passion fueled.

Observe Birds in the Wild

The best way to get inspiration for bird drawings is to observe birds in their natural habitat. Take a walk in the park or visit a bird sanctuary to watch these fascinating creatures up close.

Make sure to bring a sketchbook and pencils to capture the shapes and poses of the birds you see. You can also take photographs to use as references later on.

Study Bird Photography

If observing birds in the wild isn’t an option, studying bird photography is an excellent alternative. There are many talented bird photographers whose work can inspire you.

Search for bird photography online or in photography books to find images that spark your imagination. Pay attention to the details, such as feather textures, eye shapes, and beak lengths. These details can help you create more realistic bird drawings.

Explore Bird-Related Artwork

There are many artists who specialize in bird drawings and paintings. Exploring their work can provide inspiration for your own drawings.

Visit art exhibits or search for bird art online to discover new styles and techniques. You can also join artist communities or social media groups focused on bird art to connect with other artists and find inspiration.

Tips for Creating Realistic and Expressive Bird Drawings

Creating realistic and expressive bird drawings requires attention to detail and a keen eye for observation. Here are some additional tips to take your bird drawings to the next level:

Capture the Personality

Just like people, birds have unique personalities that can be conveyed through their posture, expression, and movement. Pay attention to these subtle cues to infuse your bird drawings with personality and character.

Use Light and Shadow

Light and shadow can add depth and dimension to your bird drawings, creating a more realistic and dynamic image. Experiment with different lighting scenarios and shading techniques to bring your birds to life.

Add Color

While black and white bird drawings can be beautiful, adding color can add an extra level of vibrancy and realism. Start by experimenting with colored pencils or watercolors, and work to capture the unique hues and patterns of your chosen bird species.

Explore Different Angles and Perspectives

Don’t limit yourself to drawing birds from just one angle or perspective. Experiment with different viewpoints, angles, and poses to capture the unique characteristics and movements of your chosen birds.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Improving your bird drawing skills takes time and practice. Make time to draw regularly, whether it’s a quick sketch or a more detailed study. Joining an artist community or taking a class can also help you learn new techniques and stay motivated.

With these tips, you’ll be able to take your bird drawings from good to great. Keep practicing and exploring, and continue to find inspiration in the beauty and diversity of birds.

A Blue Jay perched on a metal railing.
Photo by Joe Cox on Unsplash

Showcasing Your Bird Art: Display and Share

After spending time and effort creating beautiful bird drawings, it’s natural to want to share them with others. Here are some tips on how to showcase and display your bird art.

Frame Your Artwork

Framing your bird drawings is a great way to protect and showcase them. Choose a frame that complements the style and colors of your drawing. You can also add a mat board to provide more depth and contrast to the finished piece.

Digitally Scan Your Drawings

Creating digital copies of your bird drawings allows you to share them easily with a wider audience. Use a scanner or smartphone camera to create high-quality digital images. You can use these images to create prints, upload to social media, or participate in online art communities.

Share on Social Media

Posting your bird drawings on social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter is a great way to gain exposure and connect with other artists and bird enthusiasts. Use relevant hashtags and engage with followers to build a following and get your work noticed.

Join an Art Community

Joining an art community is a great way to connect with other artists and gain feedback on your work. Online communities such as DeviantArt or WetCanvas offer opportunities to showcase your art and participate in challenges and contests.

By following these tips, you can showcase and share your bird drawings with confidence and pride.

Continuing the Bird Drawing Journey

Congratulations! By completing this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to create beautiful bird drawings. However, there is always room for improvement and growth in any craft. Here are some suggestions to continue your bird drawing journey:

Explore Advanced Techniques

Now that you have mastered the basics, consider exploring more advanced techniques to push your skills to the next level. Experiment with various mediums such as pastels or colored pencils, or try incorporating mixed media elements into your drawings.

Challenge Yourself with Different Bird Species

Don’t limit yourself to just one type of bird. Challenge yourself to draw different species with unique characteristics and challenges. This will not only improve your artistic abilities but also expand your knowledge of different birds.

Join an Artist Community

Join an artist community or group to connect with other bird drawing enthusiasts. This will provide opportunities for feedback, inspiration, and motivation to continue improving your skills.

Take Additional Courses or Workshops

Consider taking additional courses or workshops to learn from experienced artists and gain new perspectives. This can also provide a structured learning environment and help you stay committed to your craft.

Keep Practicing!

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep on drawing regularly and challenging yourself to improve. With dedication and persistence, your bird drawings will continue to evolve and impress.


Learning how to draw birds is a rewarding and accessible hobby that can enhance your artistic abilities and appreciation of nature. By following the techniques and tips provided in this guide, you can easily begin your bird drawing journey and improve your skills over time.

Remember to start with simple shapes and shading techniques, and practice regularly to build confidence. By understanding bird anatomy and textures, you can create more realistic and expressive bird drawings. Don’t be afraid to explore different art techniques and find inspiration from the world around you.

With dedication and patience, you can continue to improve your bird drawing skills and showcase your art to others. Don’t hesitate to join artist communities and seek feedback for further growth. Keep honing your skills, and let your passion for bird drawing soar!

A painted bunting perched on a large rock.
Photo by Janice Carriger: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-painted-bunting-bird-13565180/

FAQs: How to Draw Birds?

Is this guide suitable for beginners?

Yes, this guide is specifically designed for beginners who want to learn how to draw birds easily.

Q: Do I need any prior drawing experience?

No, you do not need any prior drawing experience. The techniques and tutorials provided are beginner-friendly.

What materials do I need to get started?

To get started, you will need basic drawing materials such as pencils, paper, an eraser, and optional shading tools.

Can I use these techniques to draw different bird species?

Absolutely! These techniques can be applied to draw a variety of bird species, allowing you to explore and develop your skills further.

How long will it take to become proficient in bird drawing?

The time it takes to become proficient in bird drawing varies from person to person. With consistent practice and dedication, you can improve your skills over time.

Can children use this guide?

Yes, children can use this guide with parental guidance and supervision. The techniques and tutorials are suitable for all ages.

How can I share my bird drawings with others?

You can showcase and share your bird drawings by framing them, scanning them digitally, or sharing them on social media platforms or within artist communities.

Where can I find inspiration for my bird drawings?

You can find inspiration for your bird drawings by observing birds in the wild, studying bird photography, and exploring bird-related artwork.

Are there any additional resources for further learning?

Yes, the article provides recommendations for further learning resources and communities to continue your bird drawing journey.


  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service. Reach out for expert insights and support at admin@learnbirdwatching.com, and embark on a rewarding journey in the world of birds.