How to Sketch a Parrot

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STEP 1. Begin your first sketching step by drawing two shapes, one for the head, and then the other which is oval shaped for the body. You will then draw the beak guide shape as well as the facial guide.   STEP 2. Begin sketching out the actual structure of the parrot's head and be sure to include those periodic bumps for feather detailing. When the head and some of the neck is all sketch in the way you see it here, you can begin tackling the bill. Start with the upper mandible, which is arched like a hook, and then draw in the bottom mandible.   STEP 3. Color in the eye and some detailing around the base of the beak, and then continue the task of sketching out more of the parrot's body. For me, I started by sketching the lining for the back, and then I began with making the wings. For the parrot's wings, try to start at the top, and work your way down. There is a total of two layers of feathers for the wing, but the tail and tail feathers will be drawn in next.   STEP 4. Before you tackle sketching the tail, you should finished with getting the parrot's torso and belly done. Start where you left off with the neck and continue sketching the body line that will ultimately form the chest, belly and tail. Add some tail feathers in a simple layered pattern, and then draw the thighs and or legs for the bird. Lastly, begin the process of getting the parrot's feet or talons sketch in as well. Since this bird is sitting on a branch, the feet need to appear like they are grabbing onto something.   STEP 5. This is the last step as far as drawing out the concept of your sketched parrot. All you have to do now is draw in the branch that it is perched on, and then sketch in the detailing to the wood.   STEP 6. Before we even TOUCH the drawing any further, we must evaluate in our minds, the importance of the 'light source'. This is an important part to any sketch. In the case of this drawing, we will determine the brightest highlights hitting the bird at the backside. The darkest shadows will tunnel through the skirts of the belly, legs, lower wings, and the hint of cheek/beak. Watch carefully in the steps ahead.   STEP 7. Make sure that your sketch is free from guidelines, mistakes, and other debris before you start the shading process. Start by shading the beak one mandible at a time.   STEP 8. When you shade your drawing, you must always be certain of your light source and how the darker shades recede into the parent shadow base. This is important because without the proper highlights/shading, you will result with an unrealistic and bland drawing.   STEP 9. Now begin shading around the eye starting at the base of the beak. When shading this area, make sure to add in some texture strokes for the fine feathers that surround the parrots eye and cheek.   STEP 10. Ok, this may seem like a lot, but in fact, it isn't. What I did was add a light wash and began to shade with hatching and cross hatching strokes. I primarily use cross-hatching on the darkest areas so it covers more white space. This technique should be used sparingly as having too much shadows throughout the piece will dull it out.   STEP 11. This is a simple technique yet important one, used when I shade the dark parts of the drawing. 1. labels the common way to shade. I use this more commonly and trail from 'light to dark'. The closer the base of the shadow, the darkest it will be. 2. Is a basic technique used called 'crosshatching'. It allows you to cover more white space and also, add dimension if you use it right. Use these two techs carefully and try not to over shade your drawing.   STEP 12. Using the same techniques used from above, I go ahead and add light wash of shadows the wings, and using slanted hatching strokes for each half of the feather. This will make the feathers seem as if they had feathery details, creating an overall dynamic look.   STEP 13. Add shading to the legs, feet, and branch, and then you're done!   STEP 14. Tweak the areas for added detailing and definition. When you are done you should have a nice sketched out drawing of a parrot.   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8. Step 9. Step 10. Step 11. Step 12. Step 13. Step 14.