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How to Draw a Small Bird – Easy Step by Step

How to Draw a Small Bird – Easy Step by Step

Are you interested in drawing a bird? 

Drawing a small bird can be in less than 20 minutes. 

Yes! You can be a pro at knowing how to draw a small bird in no time!

Best part is that after you follow these step by step instructions, you’ll be able to use this knowledge to draw any type of bird. 

Let’s get started!

Drawing Supplies Needed

There are certain supplies that are best for drawing. Click here to get the best tools for drawing, but also feel free to use anything that you have laying around to do this step by step process. 

Step 1: Draw a circle for the small bird’s head

how to draw a bird step 1 draw a circle for the small bird’s head

Start with a circle, but not in the middle of the page. Leave some room to the right!

Step 2: Draw a bowl-shape for the body of the small bird

how to draw a bird step 2 draw a bowl-shape for the body of the small bird

Now starting from the bottom of the circle make a bowl shape, and on the top a straight line. Don’t join those just yet!

Step 3: Draw curved lines from the bird’s head and body

how to draw a bird step 3 draw curved lines from the bird’s head and body

From the end of the straight line we’re going to make a curved line upwards towards the top of the page, and at the back of the circle put 3 slightly curved lines each one smaller than the last.

Step 4: Change lines into triangles

how to draw a bird step 4 change lines into triangles

With those three lines at the back of the circle we’re going to make 3 thin triangles. Right below those triangles, inside the shape of the “spoon” (for the body) make a small curved line – this will be the shoulder joint.

Step 5: Add line for bird’s shoulder and start the bird’s beak

how to draw a bird step 5 add line for bird’s shoulder and start the bird’s beak

Right above where we put that shoulder joint we’re going to make a smaller curved line going towards the long on at the end of the “spoon shape”. Then before moving on, at the front of the circle make a downward curving line, but don’t make it too long!

Step 6: Start drawing bird wings

how to draw a bird step 6 start drawing bird wings

Time to make those wings! Extent that shoulder joint line we made in a slightly curved-upwards stroke. 

Step 7: Draw the top wing

how to draw a bird step 7 draw the top wing

Leave some space below the shoulder joint before making the other curved line , which you will then continue in a cloud-like motion towards the thicker wing line. This is the top of the wing! In the small space between the other wing line and the body, make whatever amount of cloud shapes you can there (Note that I only placed one).

Step 8: Start to add legs for our small bird

how to draw a bird step 8 start to add legs for our small bird

Now we’re going to mark out where the legs are before finishing the wings. A little before the end of the bottom body line, create a forward slash and then give it a twin a little bit offset from it. Repeat this, but with a shorter line, right below the top of the wing on the outside of the body.

Before moving on, carve out your beak shape by closing off that downward stroke from earlier, and adding a small bottom beak. It shouldn’t need a large stroke, just a bit to close off the jaw. Use a reference if you need to see the shape!

Step 9: Close off the wings

how to draw a bird step 9 close off the wings

Time to close off those wings! Using a much more elongated cloud shape (no sharp edges here) combine those two lines with the final feather being the longest one. Mimic this on the other side. You want the wing to get longer as it gets closer to the back of the body.

Step 10: Complete the beak of the bird

how to draw a bird step 10 complete the beak of the bird

Here is where things get a little messy, but bear with it! We’re going to start at the beak. Taking the top beak inside the circle just a little, meet the shape together with a rounded line. Behind that create a crescent moon shape, this is what is known as the ‘ceres’ on a bird! 

Now moving down the body, add some feather puffs at the top of the legs where it meets the body. 

For the tail begin to use those cloud strokes to close the two lines together starting from the top and moving closer to the body as you make your way towards the other line.

Step 11: Finish drawing the legs

how to draw a bird step 11 finish drawing the legs

A little behind the ceres we made at the beak make a circle for the eye and then finish the legs with the feet. The feet are 3 pronged in the front with the middle prong being the longest, and there is a back prong. Due to the angle we’re making our birds’ back leg just a nub.

Step 12: Erase overlapping lines

how to draw a bird step 12 erase overlapping lines

Erase the overlapping lines!

Step 13: Add details around the neck

how to draw a bird step 13 add neck details

At the bottom of the circle, we’re going to extend the chin a bit downwards, not too much though, before using that same cloud shape to come around the neck. Then, fill in the eye!

Step 14: Draw details for the bird’s tail

how to draw a bird step 14 draw details for the bird’s tail

At the base of the tail we’re going to add some lines in the dips of the cloud shaped line. Not all the way down but to about the longest wing line on the wing closest to us. Then we’ll use a lighter stroke to mark those off from the rest of the tail.

Going back to the face and head, erase the rest of the circle before adding a highlight to the eye and a little nostril to the beak!

Finally, for this step, fine tune the body so it looks a bit more organic. Birds have a lot of feathers so their body isn’t just one solid perfect shape! 

Step 15: Add color

how to draw a bird step 15 add color

Color in the spots as outlined in the illustration and there you go! A bird!

This is a step-by-step process to drawing a small bird. There are quite a bit of steps, but this drawing process is easy and simple to get a bird that is cute. 

I’d like to thank Carolyn for sharing her process. Be sure to check out her social @ClazDesign if you enjoyed her illustrations. She also has some amazing prints and illustrations available in her shop.

Other step by step tutorials to help you draw:

how to draw a small bird
Yield: How to Draw a Small Bird

How to Draw a Small Bird

how to draw a small bird

Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a small bird.

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $0

Materials

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Or tablet and stylus

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Or tablet and stylus

Instructions

          1. Step 1: Draw a circle for the small bird’s head
            Start with a circle, but not in the middle of the page. Leave some room to the right! how to draw a bird step 1 draw a circle for the small bird’s head
          2. Step 2: Draw a bowl shape for the body of the small bird
            Now starting from the bottom of the circle make a bowl shape, and on the top a straight line. Don't join those just yet!how to draw a bird step 2 draw a bowl-shape for the body of the small bird
          3. Step 3: Draw curved lines from the bird’s head and body
            From the end of the straight line we're going to make a curved line upwards towards the top of the page, and at the back of the circle put 3 slightly curved lines each one smaller than the last.how to draw a bird step 3 draw curved lines from the bird’s head and body
          4. Step 4: Change lines into triangles
            With those three lines at the back of the circle, we're going to make 3 thin triangles. Right below those triangles, inside the shape of the "spoon" (for the body) make a small curved line - this will be the shoulder joint. how to draw a bird step 4 change lines into triangles
          5. Step 5: Add a line for the bird’s shoulder and start the bird’s beak
            Right above where we put that shoulder joint we're going to make a smaller curved line going towards the long-on at the end of the "spoon shape". Then before moving on, at the front of the circle make a downward curving line, but don't make it too long!how to draw a bird step 5 add line for bird’s shoulder and start the bird’s beak
          6. Step 6: Start drawing bird wings
            Time to make those wings! The extent that shoulder joint line we made in a slightly curved-upwards stroke. how to draw a bird step 6 start drawing bird wings
          7. Step 7: Draw the top wing
            Leave some space below the shoulder joint before making the other curved line, which you will then continue in a cloud-like motion towards the thicker wing line. This is the top of the wing! In the small space between the other wing line and the body, make whatever amount of cloud shapes you can there (Note that I only placed one)how to draw a bird step 7 draw the top wing
          8. Step 8: Start to add legs for our small bird
            Now we're going to mark out where the legs are before finishing the wings. A little before the end of the bottom body line, create a forward slash and then give it a twin a little bit offset from it. Repeat this, but with a shorter line, right below the top of the wing on the outside of the body.
            Before moving on, carve out your beak shape by closing off that downward stroke from earlier, and adding a small bottom beak. It shouldn't need a large stroke, just a bit to close off the jaw. Use a reference if you need to see the shape!how to draw a bird step 8 start to add legs for our small bird
          9. Step 9: Close off the wings
            Time to close off those wings! Using a much more elongated cloud shape (no sharp edges here) combine those two lines with the final feather being the longest one. Mimic this on the other side. You want the wing to get longer as it gets closer to the back of the body.how to draw a bird step 9 close off the wings
          10. Step 10: Complete the beak of the bird
            Here is where things get a little messy, but bear with it! We're going to start at the beak. Taking the top beak inside the circle just a little, meet the shape together with a rounded line. Behind that create a crescent moon shape, this is what is known as the 'ceres' on a bird! 

            Now moving down the body, add some feather puffs at the top of the legs where it meets the body. 

            For the tail begin to use those cloud strokes to close the two lines together starting from the top and moving closer to the body as you make your way towards the other line.how to draw a bird step 10 complete the beak of the bird
          11. Step 11: Finish drawing the legs
            A little behind the ceres we made at the beak make a circle for the eye and then finish the legs with the feet. The feet are 3 pronged in the front with the middle prong being the longest, and there is a back prong. Due to the angle, we're making our birds' back leg just a nub.how to draw a bird step 11 finish drawing the legs
          12. Step 12: Erase overlapping lines
            Erase the overlapping lines! how to draw a bird step 12 erase overlapping lines
          13. Step 13: Add details around the neck
            At the bottom of the circle, we're going to extend the chin a bit downwards, not too much though, before using that same cloud shape to come around the neck. Then, fill in the eye! how to draw a bird step 13 add neck details
          14. Step 14: Draw details for the bird’s tail
            At the base of the tail, we're going to add some lines in the dips of the cloud-shaped line. Not all the way down but to about the longest wing line on the wing closest to us. Then we'll use a lighter stroke to mark those off from the rest of the tail.

            Going back to the face and head, erase the rest of the circle before adding a highlight to the eye and a little nostril to the beak!

            Finally, for this step, fine-tune the body so it looks a bit more organic. Birds have a lot of feathers so their body isn't just one solid perfect shape!  how to draw a bird step 14 draw details for the bird’s tail
          15. Step 15: Add color
            Color in the spots as outlined in the illustration and there you go! A bird!

            This is a step-by-step process to drawing a small bird. There are quite a bit of steps, but this drawing process is easy and simple to get a bird that is cute. how to draw a bird step 15 add color

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