Interested in learning how to sketch birds?

Sketching is fun, entertaining, and therapeutic. Art therapy helps with stress, and there are even adults who enjoy drawing and coloring as much as children.

When you’re on edge, try sketching and see how it can relieve stress. Putting pencil to paper can be full of intrigue. What will you create? What colors will you add to your design?

How to sketch birds
Start off by drawing and painting easy birds like sparrows

Birds are the most amazing creatures to sketch and with shading and smudging, you’ll soon be inspired to move from sketching the small brown sparrow to sketching the mighty golden eagle.

Birds come in different shapes and colors, but when you start sketching birds, you’ll discover that most of them can be simplified by starting with circles and triangles.

Preparation for Learning

Know What a Bird Looks Like Under Its Feathers

There are certain things to consider when learning how to draw a bird. A good idea is to know what a bird looks like underneath its feathers! Get familiar with bird anatomy. You don’t want to start sketching a bird with misconceptions about what it really looks like.

Once you start learning about anatomy, zoom in on birds in the park or your own garden and see if you can identify their anatomical structures. (You can zoom in with a great pair of binoculars – Make sure that you check out our top 4 recommendations for the best binoculars for eyeglass wearers.)

Make Sure You Have The Right Set of Tools

Make sure you have a sketch pad with you and nice sharp pencils and a soft eraser. Those who have already learned to sketch birds will tell you that a wise choice in terms of pencils is to use an H or 2H pencil.

The reason for this is that they are hard pencils that draw lightly on the paper. It’s easier to erase if you make mistakes.

Have The Right Attitude Before Beginning

Once you get familiar with bird anatomy, try one or more of the methods in the following section. Many of these methods will provide the new artist with hours of drawing demonstrations that will demonstrate how to apply drawing skills to a wide range of subjects.

Basic skills will take the beginner from the absolute basics to advanced sketch techniques.

For those of you who decide to take an online course or workshop that consists of modules or various sections, my advice is to go through the entire series in the recommended order.

Even if you some of the more technical modules try your patience, try and forge ahead as each module prepares you to tackle the next one.

Learning How To Sketch Birds – Methods For The Beginner

  • Select one of the many online blog posts that proves step-by-step details about drawing birds. You will see guides on how to draw a huge variety of birds, such as sparrows, ducks, and owls, for example. If you want to improve your bird drawing, just stay with it and draw more frequently.
Sketchbook with pencil drawing of bird

How to Sketch Birds

  • Use high-resolution photographs to sketch birds. Its almost as good as having a live model – actually, even better since the photograph won’t fly away!

  • Take out a ‘learn to sketch for beginners’ book from the library. These books provide visual demonstrations and easy-to-understand step-by-step lessons that teach beginner artists how to create beautiful bird sketches in different kinds of media.

  • Trace bird pictures to get an idea of how to sketch birds. This is actually an excellent way to begin. You’ll get the feel of the various shapes and relative sizes of bird anatomy – the curvature of the breast, the lines of the legs and claws, the protuberance of the beaks.

  • Find an online step-by-step tutorials. These tutorial programs will methodically teach you how to draw birds at a nice, manageable pace. Even watching a video lesson will teach you essential bird drawing skills.

  • Trace bird pictures to get an idea of how to sketch birds. This is actually an excellent way to begin. You’ll get the feel of the various shapes and relative sizes of bird anatomy – the curvature of the breast, the lines of the legs and claws, the protuberance of the beaks.

These programs offers insights into the bird sketching process and offers clear drawing instructions. These bird sketch skills you learn will improve your artistic skills regardless of the medium you work in.

Use Your cell phone for Quick Access to Bird Sketching Ideas

There are easy guides that anyone with a cell phone can quickly look up even while out and about in nature. There are easy steps to drawing a bird and the guides will take you through easy steps to drawing a gorgeous bird that everyone will be able to see what species it is.

These guides start with the basics and show you how to add other characteristics of the bird such as the feathers.

In short, you will need to do the following –

  • Draw a simple outline of the bird’s body. You can start by drawing a small circle for the head. You can draw an oval for the body. You then add detail to these basic shapes.

  • Add in the details. Add detail to the head, such as the eyes and the beak. Most birds have a triangle-shaped beak.

  • Add in the plumage. Remember, when you add detail to the wings, rather draw a few feathers. When learning how to draw birds, you can skip some of the details and draw what you see rather than what you know.

  • Refine your design. Once you’re pleased with the way your bird looks, erase any mistakes and finalize your drawing.

  • Add in the beautiful colors to bring your masterpiece to life. Color in your bird using colored pencils, koki-pens, or watercolor paints. You have to be prepared to practice to get better.
Watercolors of birds.  Learning to watercolor is a great way to learn how to draw birds.

Artists of all skill levels can find inspirational ways to sketch birds. These books and online tutorials will even guide you as to what drawing tools you will need. They will show you the different basic drawing techniques and provide you with tips for creating good composition.

After you learn the basics, you will go from drawing a sparrow to sketching birds with more specialties such as eagles and owls with crests and large talons and beaks.

The artists in these books and online tutorials offer simple instructions for drawing all kinds of beautiful birds. They guide you towards knowing how to get accurate proportions.

For beginners, you will start with step-by-step projects that start with basic shapes such as circles, ovals, and lines and then progress to much more detailed drawings. There is such variety in the bird kingdom, and by choosing to draw birds, you’ll find never-ending variety even in your own garden.

Pencil sketch of bird sitting on a branch

You can sit outside with your pencil and sketch pad and focus on your feathered models.

As you put in the finishing touches, you will be amazed at how much you have learned! As you gaze upon your drawings, you may wonder why your sketched birds, don’t fly away.