My tips for drawing a bird in colored pencil!

Today, I'm sharing some tips for making a beautiful bird in color, a great project to understand the basics of animal art but also of the colored pencil medium !

Click on the image below to see this article on video!

When I start a project like this, I always carefully select my references so as to have a project that is colorful, but also with an interesting posture !

Here I have selected a bird reference which I will break down into simple shapes like circles and ovals , until I manage to figure out how it is composed in the image.

It is these very simple shapes that I will transfer to my paper. In this case , I 'm using paper that 's rather gray since I know I 'm going to do colored pencil and I need to see the colors pop . _ _

If you are doing wildlife art of another type , you can also just use plain printer paper .

Once your lines are done and well proportioned, you will be able to choose a medium that will bring your animal to life . Whether it's watercolor , marker , colored pencil or even just keeping a realistic lead rendering , there are multiple possibilities available to you !

Now I start choosing my colors from my colored pencil kit . _ _ Here I used a kit from Faber Castle (you can find a reference by clicking here). If you don't have not a huge range of colored pencils , you can adjust the colors depending on what you see, even if it 's not quite the same thing .

Once my colors have been selected, I will start with the smallest details of the bird 's face like its eyes and its small hairs , or its small feathers and I will go there with great precision with pencils that are very sharp . _

Then I embark on the shadows of the body with my colored pencils . It takes a bit of patience to do each of the sections carefully! It is often a question of being able to observe what color we see in our reference and then using equivalent pencils to draw on our paper and alternate in the different shades of color .

You have to be careful that the pencil lines you make go in the direction of the texture . In this case, if it is the texture of the feathers that I will respect.

From time to time , I will use my blender pencil which is a colored pencil without color ( the base or the binder of the colored pencil but empty of pigments ) which is used to mix colors together and create reliefs .

I also frequently change the angle of my paper to facilitate the drawing of the pencil according to the angle of my hand, in order to be more comfortable in my drawing .

Often times it is a good idea to make small swatches when working with color and when first starting out, as covering an area in color takes a lot longer than when just working with lead pencil! In the color, it will indeed be necessary to understand the shadow and the light at the same time as the lines and the colors.

If you are new to drawing, I suggest you start by learning how to draw your animals well in graphite with a simple lead pencil . When you are comfortable with your proportions and making your contour lines, you can explore other mediums to create something more colorful and brighter!

Once I'm nearing the end of my drawing, I'm looking at the whole thing and I 'm going to start working on the details. For example , I will be able to make the branch, make the legs, and I will use my white pencil to enhance the lights. For example, I will select the places that seem to me the palest or the places where there are reflections and trace with a white pencil to make them more visible . Of course, this is only possible when drawing on a gray paper .

I will then take the other colors that I had already used and apply a little more pressure to add more contrast to my drawing, so that the bird looks like it is really popping out of the paper.

And There you go! That's it!

If you want to get started in color yourself, here is a small list of materials that you can get to start!

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