Drawing is a fun and relaxing way to express yourself. One popular subject of art is the beautiful cardinal. This guide will provide beginners with clear instructions, tips, and techniques to draw a cardinal.
Before starting your drawing, you will need the following materials:
- Drawing paper (any size you prefer)
- Fine-tipped black marker (optional)
Step 1: Sketching the Basic Shapes
The first step in drawing a cardinal is to sketch out the basic shapes of the bird. Start with a circle for the head and an oval for the body. Draw a diagonal line that connects the head and body to create the bird’s posture.
Step 2: Adding the Beak and Feet
Next, add the beak and feet. Draw a triangular shape for the beak, followed by two curved lines that connect to the head circle. For the feet, draw two small ovals at the bottom of the body.
Step 3: Sketching the Wings and Tail
Sketch the wings by drawing two long, thin triangles that extend from the body’s side. For the tail, draw a fan-shaped wedge that extends from the bird’s back.
Step 4: Outlining the Cardinal
Once you have sketched the cardinal’s basic shapes and proportions, you can begin to outline the bird. Use a pencil or fine-tipped marker to trace the sketch lines. Ensure that your lines follow the bird’s contours to create a realistic drawing.
Step 5: Adding Details
To add more details to your drawing, you can now add the eyes, the feathers, and the texture of the bird’s feet. For the eyes, draw two small circles, then darken the middle to indicate the pupils. Feather the bird’s head with small, angled lines for added detail, and dots for texture on his feet.
Step 6: Shading the Cardinal
To give your drawing a three-dimensional look, add shading. Determine the direction of the light source, then shade the bird’s contours and any areas that would be in shadows, such as under the wings. Use a pencil and blend lightly in one direction to create a smooth and subtle effect.
Step 7: Finalizing Your Drawing
Finally, erase any unnecessary pencil marks, clean up your lines, and darken areas that require more depth as you see fit, for example, the cardinal’s eyes, as well as around some feather areas. Your cardinal drawing is now complete.
Tips and Techniques
- Use light pencil strokes for the initial sketch, then darken as needed.
- Study pictures of cardinals when drawing. This will give you a better understanding of their anatomy and the patterns of their feathers.
- Focus on the cardinal’s distinctive red color and black markings to create a realistic drawing.
Q1: Can I use color pencils for my cardinal drawing?
Yes, color pencils are a great medium to use for a cardinal drawing. Make sure to layer the pencils and blend colors together to achieve a realistic look.
Q2: How do I avoid smudging while shading?
You can avoid smudging by slowly building up layers of shading in the same direction and keeping your hand clean by regularly wiping it off on a separate sheet of paper.
Q3: How do I draw a cardinal in flight?
To draw a cardinal in flight, sketch the bird with its wings extended and create the illusion of movement by adding motion lines that mimic the direction of the wings.
Q4: Can I use a photo reference when drawing a cardinal?
Yes, using a photo reference can help you draw a more realistic cardinal. Look for high-quality pictures and use them as a guide for overall shape and color.
Q5: What is the best way to practice cardinal drawing?
Start by practicing individual parts of the cardinal, such as the beak and feathers, to hone your skills. Then, move on to drawing the bird as a whole. Keep practicing, and don’t get discouraged if your drawing doesn’t turn out perfectly at first.
Q6: Can I draw a cardinal with colored markers?
Yes, colored markers can be used to create a bright and bold cardinal drawing. Experiment with different colors and layer them to create a realistic look.