How to Draw a Bird in Five Steps?

Tripping Over Bird Reference 🤣

On my way to and from 🏂🎿 Okemo mountain resort, I started a new bird art project‼️🤩.  Yet, not having an internet connection, I had to improvise my reference and let my brain solve the puzzle for me. For example, I knew I needed to create the setup to guide me in the right direction.

Setup 🏗️

Bird Line Art 📐

In the light of line art, I needed to fill in the flat color. With this intention, adding the highlight and shadows later. As an illustration, Sketchbook has a magic wand tool, like Photoshop. For example, it

Bird Line Art
Bird Line Art

allows me to select the areas around my line work and fill it with color. Granted that there are no gaps, I can fill in the flat colors using Sycra teardrop technique.

Bird Flat Color 🏳️‍🌈

To say nothing of, the flat color step is the most important for me because it gave my brain a puzzle to solve. In other words, I throw a splash of interesting lines smudges on the screen and almost

Bird Flat Color
Bird Flat Color

like clockwork, my mind starts seeing figures. For example, using the smudge and hair brushes I start forming simple shapes. Including, I start seeing forms and I smudge them till I’m happy with the result. As an illustration, I’m using Sketchbook because it allows me to work on any device. Also, it provides a simple layout for me to start drawing without slowing down. Again, I got the idea from digital artist Trent Kaniuga who you can also follow on Twitter.

Bird Contrast 👀

Of course, contrast is important because it separates the scene and can show the distance. In other words, if I wanted to make the bird pop,

Bird Contrast
Bird Contrast

then I can make the colors of bird darker and saturated. In fact, I created a grayscale version of the flat color image to define where I need darker colors. Yet, as I progressed I didn’t use the grayscale image because I wanted to feel free while draw my bird. By the same token, I knew that later on, I will add the shadows and highlights to pop the image out. Above all, my goal is to use the grayscale image as a guide to aid create better contrast.

Bird Background 🎆

In the same fashion, the background color is using the teardrop technique. Also, this technique

Bird Background
Bird Background

helps you focus on a particular set of colors. Not to mention, you can watch it How to Choose Colours that Work by Sycra. Also, you can download the color wheel and teardrop.

Bird Highlight, Shadow, and Volume 🔊

Together with highlight, shadow, and volume, the illustration comes together.

Bird Highlight
Bird Highlight
Birdy Shadow
Bird Shadow

Provided that we work on each layer together and adjust them. To put in another way, while I build up the volume, I’m thinking about where to put the highlights and shadows. Another key point, using the color picker and layers together to create harmony. For instance, my shadow layer will have multiply blending mode enabled. Yet, I’m sampling from all the layers because I want to get similar colors. With this mind, I’m building my highlights and volume the same way. Thus, it’s important for me to keep an eye on these parts, so it looks outstanding!


Future Goals 🥅 🏑

  • Learn how to control flow
  • Be looser
  • Tell a story with my art
  • I plan to draw proclivity

Feel free to send your creations in the comments below or ask any questions you like and I’ll try to respond. 🖊️📝

Reading List 📚


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