Learning to draw birds Automatic translate
The diversity and beauty of the feathered world is an excellent material for any artist. If you really like to draw birds, you will never be left without work. Birds everywhere surround us, sparrows on the neighboring roof, pigeons and blackbirds in gardens and parks, kestrels in the forest, puffins and cormorants on the seashore, eagles and kites in the mountains in the sky.
Whatever the bird is a miracle, but this miracle must be able to see. To understand the perfection and originality of each bird, look at how the blackbird basking in the sun, spreading its wings, as a small nimble tit hung upside down on the feeder.
Shapes and proportions
As with any drawing object, before you learn how to draw birds, you will first have to make out the geometric shapes that underlie any bird silhouettes. Most birds have a drop of resin inherent, although there are so many options.
Let’s start with one of the smallest birds - kingfisher. He has a sharp, short tail, his small paws are almost invisible, so you just have to draw his body, which looks like a drop of resin.
But the head of a woodpecker seems small in comparison with its body, and the tail is longer and sharper - the woodpecker leans against it by a tree, climbing up the trunk. In your drawing, the tail of a bird should always be a smooth extension of its body.
Geese, ducks and swans have wide, like a shovel, beaks, webbed feet and plumage adjacent to the body. They often make long flights, so they have a streamlined muscular body and a wide chest with developed muscles. These birds feed on grass and grains that enter the goiter. A tightly packed goiter further emphasizes the swiftness of their body.
One of the smallest ducks is a teal. She can be identified by the size of her head. There is an unwritten rule - the smaller the bird, the larger its head in relation to the body.
Take a look at the swan, whose small small head speaks of a very large body. The geese in size and shape form a kind of bridge between ducks and swans. And again, the proportions of the head and body of this bird eloquently speak of its size.
Gorgeous sitters for artists are owls. Their characteristic shape, large eyes and an elusive resemblance to a cat make them very interesting. Owl - splyushka seems squat. She has clearly marked “eyebrows” (fan), giving her head an almost rectangular shape. The face of the barn owl can be represented in the form of a heart-shaped plane, divided in the middle.
A favorite theme of artists is the crane, considered a symbol of wealth and longevity in the Far East. This bird impresses with its proud posture. The crane is constantly moving, but sometimes freezes in a certain position, giving you a chance to make a sketch. The flowing forms of the crane are perfectly combined with watercolor strokes. Try the calligraphic technique, working your hand from the wrist and elbow and holding the brush freely, without tension - or even hold the brush perfectly upright, in the manner of Chinese artists.
The body structure of birds
If at first it is difficult for you to draw feathers, to facilitate this task, imagine that they can be divided into different sections. All birds have a streamlined shape necessary for flight, which means that the feathers must overlap each other, starting from the front of the crown down the neck, then along the back, the upper covering feathers of the tail and, finally, along the tail. But on the head, feathers always surround the eyes.
Feathers overlap each other in the same way as roof tiles. When flying, when the wings rise, the feathers on them loosen and let air through them, and then, when the wings fall, the feathers close together and hit the air and push the bird forward.
Knowing the plumage plots and the physical features of the birds will help you know the basic terms. The anatomy of a bird is easier to understand if we recall the history of evolution, in particular, that the wings developed from the forelimbs, and the bird stands on its “hind” legs, like a horse standing on its hind legs.
Tarsus - part of the leg below the lower leg, in fact, is an elongated part of the foot, and the foot itself consists of one finger. The real knee in birds is rarely seen - it is hidden under the feathers and tightly pressed to the body for balance. The birds’ legs themselves consist of three large bones, so that they can be easily folded in a zigzag pattern.
The bird’s wing corresponds to our shoulder, forearm and wrist, and the “hand” is the place where the first feathers of the feather grow from.
Wings, like legs, consist of three main parts, which allows them to unfold to full length or fold in a zigzag pattern, clinging to the feathered body.
When drawing birds, it is also important to take into account proportions and perspective. Proportion - the magnitude of the various parts in relation to each other. The proportion is highly dependent on the perspective — an optical illusion that makes objects and their parts appear smaller or narrower as they move away.
For example, if you look at the female pheasant in front, its body appears rather short, much shorter than when viewed from the side. This is because the prospect, as it were, “thickens” the form. This effect of perspective is called "shortening." The tail of the bird is also always shortened by perspective. Another factor influencing proportions is the age of the bird. Like all living things, young individuals have a larger head compared to their body.
Lighting and glare
Lighting always plays an important role in creating a naturalistic pattern. You need to remember that when the light falling on an object weakens, shadows appear on it. But you don’t need to think that the shadows are solid: the light reflected from other surfaces located nearby reduces their density and creates glare inside the shadow itself.
The effect of chiaroscuro can be clearly seen in the image of any white bird. Typically, such patterns have a strong tonal contrast, however, since light in a natural environment falls from different sides, shadows and reflected light are always distributed differently.
A bird of any coloring, lit from the back, will appear dark or even black. Backlighting creates a bright halo around the head and sometimes under the chin. Multi-colored birds, such as a rooster or pheasant, seem completely dark under backlighting, but their silhouette is always surrounded by a light border. Any feathers of birds, regardless of color and pattern, perfectly reflect light. Remember that glare may appear on shiny feathers and this will make your task even harder.
Learning to portray details correctly
One of the most important features in bird drawings is the eyes. Their size, shape, angle and color help determine the characteristics of each species. The eyes of birds of prey are usually large. Hawks and eagles have binocular vision, and their eyes are straight so they can better estimate distance. The eyes of pigeons, ducks, geese and swans are located on both sides of the head, providing them with a circular view. The eyes of all birds are surrounded by an orbital ring, and then concentric circles of feathers, which then pass into the covering feathers of the ear and into the webs, called the "eyebrows" of birds.
The second species feature is the beak. Bird beaks are bent and sharp, like a falcon, large, like garden shears, like a toucan, there is a beak-spoon, like a duck and beak-tongs, like a shilokulyka. But all beaks are horny outgrowths of the skull.
The beak helps to emphasize the nature of the bird, adds expressiveness to each species of birds. It is important to draw the bird’s nostrils correctly. So, at the falcon, they are protected by a wax - a yellowish shell covering its beak. The duck’s nostrils are high so that she can immerse her beak in water and breathe at the same time. Shiloklyuv’s nostrils look like a simple groove along its beak.
Bird feet are usually built like this: three fingers look forward and one back. But there are exceptions, for example, in a woodpecker, two fingers are directed forward and two back. The bird’s paw, which clings tenaciously to a branch, is easiest to draw, representing it in the form of a small fist and outlining it with just a couple of lines.
It is necessary to take into account the structure of feathers of birds, not only the feather itself, but also how it is attached to one or another part of its body. The fact is that muscles are attached to each feather or mass of feathers of various birds, so they can move separately from others. When the bird is cold, it simply raises its feathers to wrap itself in them. Feathers can also rise from fright, as, for example, in cockatoo and bustards. It is interesting to consider the birds and their fan-shaped tails. The middle feather always lies above all, but when the bird fan its tail, it is flush with the others.
We give the invoice
Different birds succeeded in the art of creating colorful outfits, and in some excellent camouflage. Trying to interest the female, males of some species, such as peacocks and pheasants, wear a strikingly beautiful plumage. Other males create a beautiful decorative effect using certain masses of feathers.
The crescent-shaped tail feathers of the rooster are just the upper covering tail feathers, but not the tail itself, which supports them. The same can be said about the beautiful feathers of the peacock - its real tail, very modest, is hidden under all the famous luxurious feathers with “eyes”.
Females of these species, on the contrary, are carefully masked and in their very modest spotted outfits literally merge with the surrounding nature. Other species, such as the goat — with a surprisingly delicate feather pattern — do the same, disappearing against the background of forest vegetation. The spots on the jay, a large forest bird with a rather bright plumage, actually merge with bright sun glare on the foliage of the trees. This camouflage is called "explosive."
The beauty and complexity of the flight
One of the most difficult tasks is to draw birds in flight. Birds of different species fly differently, and the nature of the flight corresponds to their role in nature. It is easiest to observe and draw freely soaring birds whose wings retain relative immobility. For example, gulls can follow ferries for a long time in a soaring state. Herons fly slowly and smoothly, which gives you time to sketch. Birds of prey often soar in air currents, spreading their huge wings wide. The rhythm and manner of flight of birds depends on the length and width of their wings.
The heron has wide wings, so it is able to easily overcome long distances. Klushitsa loves to play with air currents rising from the rocks. Her wings are also wide, but they are equipped with long primary feathers, allowing her to catch the weakest air currents. The nestling can fold its wings and dive sharply down along the vertical wall of the cliff.
But the dead end has proportionally small wings, in comparison with its chubby chubby body, therefore, it waves them more often than other birds. This swift flickering of the wings can be conveyed with just a few pencil strokes. By the way, some birds glide perfectly under water, chasing their prey - fish. The penguin does not know how to fly, but it is perfectly adapted to swimming, and its beauty and elegance under the surface of the water is the exact opposite. Its clumsy on land.
Expressive moments are take-offs and landings of birds. Remember that with a bird taking off, its head is raised upward, and its neck is stretched as far forward as possible, while with a bird sitting, its head is tilted down.
Everyday life of birds
Gait of birds is often no less interesting for the artist than their flight. The unusually long legs of the stilt make it the best object for studying the movements of a walking bird. We have already mentioned that the legs of a bird are actually its hind limbs. The bird’s knee, as a rule, is hidden under its lateral feathers, it is more flexible than it often seems at first glance. When a bird runs or walks on water, the position of its legs can be more “extreme”.
In general, when walking and running, there is a general rule - the hind leg remains behind and rises, while the head and neck are pulled forward, ready to push forward sharply again. The bird’s head is pushed forward each time she rearranges her leg.
The physical structure of the bird’s body determines how it does its usual activities: it eats, sleeps and cleans feathers. For example, the long tail of a parrot, which allows it to easily tack in the dense jungle, requires a completely different care than the short tail of a curlew.
All birds carefully monitor the cleanliness of their claws, wings and head - their life and health depend on it. It is always interesting to watch birds when they are relaxed and calm. Curlew, for example, can balance on one leg for a long time and rub its head and long beak with the other foot. The heron looks spectacular when it cranes its neck in search of fish, and the tern is good when it emits its famous piercing screams.
Sketches and sketches are a vital necessity for an artist who has dedicated his work to birds. A few quick strokes can indicate movement, the shape of the bird and its habits are better than a more detailed drawing.
When you see something interesting, discard all caution and try to make as many sketches of movements and postures of birds as possible. Do not be afraid that they will be imperfect: the main goal of the sketches is to prepare information for further, more detailed work and enrich your memory. Your first touches may not be able to accurately capture the whole bird as a whole, but this will be enough for you to then recall its pose. Someday the bird will take this pose again, and you will complete your sketch.
Outlines will allow you to arrange a whole bank of information, as well as capture a large number of happy memories of the places you have visited and the diversity of birds seen there. Fleeting encounters with birds often require sketches done in a hurry. This is why it is useful to know something in advance about each bird. The sketch of a mixed group of birds will help to realize the difference in their forms, structure and plumage, as well as in habits.
The correct creation of the composition can be considered as the end in itself of the whole work, in which all your sketches, sketches and collected information will be combined. Our tips for organizing individual elements in a picture will help you express what you want to say in the most effective way.
Before determining the final composition, make a few small sketches, having tried, thus, various options for the location of parts. Just remember one important point - never place your characters in the center of the page, because it looks too boring, while the asymmetric composition looks much more interesting.
Using early sketches, you will realize how important it is to know where your painting begins and ends. This is precisely the role of the framework. You can reduce or expand the background of the work by cutting the frame or, conversely, expanding it. Try a different shape that does not fit into the usual standards, such as a vertical picture or panorama.
Living nature and habitat
To portray birds is much more interesting if you spread your attention to the world in which they live and to which they adapt. Often, it’s enough to just outline the background a bit to convey the lifestyle of the bird you portray. So, a ragged line drawn by coal can mean a rock on the seashore, on which a couple of cormorants sit.
It is fascinating to draw birds for food. Carduelis love teasel heads for their delicious seeds, so these birds can often be found sitting on them. In addition, this plant is beautiful in itself. Such a drawing will also serve as a training on the image scale: the size of the plant head is the same as that of a carduelis, that is, it emphasizes the tinyness of this bird.
Birds sitting on the nests should not be drawn - a frightened female can drop the nest, and then the chicks will not hatch. Although the family of grebes usually nests on the river, and they can be drawn from the bridge. These birds are accustomed to the noise of cars, so they will not pay attention to you either. And the beautiful design of their nests can be created with willow branches.
Keep in mind that each bird species is adapted to a particular habitat. The yellow songter catches insects among the leaves, and the lapwing feeds on the banks of rivers and meadows.
It is also important to indicate the time of day. This can be done using lighting and background images, and the surrounding weather conditions convey various touches. Frequent oblique strokes made with a pencil or charcoal indicate rainy weather, and diagonal strokes can indicate the direction of the wind, while the sharp contrast of chiaroscuro will create the appearance of sunny weather.
Every artist who draws birds should use every opportunity to deepen his knowledge. The first help in this matter will be photographs of birds in books or magazines - this is an invaluable storehouse of information.
Photos will allow you to study the details of the structure of the feather of different species of birds, their habits, the distribution of chiaroscuro on their bodies. It is advisable to use your own photos and take a camera with you for a walk. Most importantly, do not forget that shooting cannot replace the experience that live sketches give.
Use any available materials - pen, pencil, felt-tip pen. Practice drawing sketches until you are satisfied with the results, and then transfer them to good paper and complete with details.
Video materials on bird life can also be an inexhaustible source of ideas. Videos can be stopped at the right time and sketching slowly. Thanks to this help, you can catch such complex movements as flying or mating dances of some species of birds.
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