Drawing birds and squirrels
Having worked through the past lessons of drawing feathered friends,
your observation and drawing skills will be good enough for you to
tackle bird art by now. However, there are many more things to study
about this fascinating subject.
In my previous lesson I described a close study of wing, tail and
beak formation. I showed the different ways they fit together in certain
kinds of birds. Observe and study details shown of more garden birds -
crow, magpie, sparrow and also another regular visitor to your garden,
the squirrel, in Figure 1. Notice the squirrel 's posture and the branch
upon which it sits.
The pose is a common one; sitting up to eat. Study the flowing lines
made on the tail and body of the cute animal often seen in every garden.
Copy the squirrel in pencil or thin pen and ink sketches. Make note of
the long tufts of hair on its tail.
There are many kinds of bird feet. Take a look at Figure 2 (bird's
feet). The left sketch is that of a perching bird. The foot next to it
is that of an eagle. This has to be strong with sharp talons to hold and
The third drawing shows the foot of a woodpecker. Ever wondered why
woodpeckers don't end up with nasty headaches when they bang their heads
against trees? It is because they have a brain which is suspended in
The last illustration is of a duck's webbed foot which of course, is
designed for paddling.
To gain practice in drawing from life, you need to travel a lot to
observe their behaviour before sketching them.
Try to extend your skill by studying them for a while then jot down
what you see. Copy the illustrations shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 in
pen and ink. You need a lot of patience to do pen and ink drawing of
birds. Don't give up; practise makes perfect.