Bird Anatomy Drawing

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STEP 1. Skeleton - I'm going to dissect this bird anatomy from bone to flesh. Let's observe the skeleton of a basic generic bird. Notice how the bones of a bird aren't as complex as say a human or a dog. Though this isn't an exact replica of an avian skeletal structure, it's a basic layout of what it generally looks like. The breast bone is the largest bone on the bird, which explains the puffed chest. Also note that a bird's bones are very hollow to aid in their performance of flight. With heavy bones, they could not glide or fly very high/far. It would be pretty helpful to use these diagrams for future reference if you'd want to 'zombifiy' a bird, or need an avian skeletal reference for a gory scene. Whatever the use, study various poses and angles of these creatures in a skeletal format (which may be difficult since Google is rather limited with things such as that). Having a wide variety of references is crucial for a successful artist's palette.   STEP 2. Organs - Here's a simplistic breakdown of an avian's organs. Notice there isn't much here, just the basics. The noticable difference with a bird's set of organs, is the 'Gizzard', which is a completely different digestive system than say a land mammal's. Because birds have a weak jaw, and no teeth, they require an advanced digestive system to breakdown it's food. The crop is a temporary storage area for the avian's food, as the gizzard is a large muscle which breakdown it's food (basically a normal stomach). This reference would be great to use if you're drawing again, gory scenes or some sort of macabre which requires references of bird organs.   STEP 3. The Muscular Anatomy - Here's another breakdown of the muscular components that dress the bird.   STEP 4. It's very crucial to understand an avian's wing anatomy so drawing wings will be much easier for you. Here, I've labeled all the sections of wings by their groups, as well color coded them. The primaries are the largest feathers of a bird, and aid the bird's ability of gliding. Most of the other feathers are secondaries. Think of them as layers shorter than the previous.   STEP 5. Here's a simple breakdown of the skeletal structure of the bird's wing bones. Since I didn't include it with the above skeletal structure examples, I thought I'd make them separate so it's easier to examine.   STEP 6. And here we have the muscle structure of the bird's wing. Most of the ligaments at the tips of the wing 'finger', are tendons which connect to the forearm/bicep. It's pretty interesting.   STEP 7. Here I present examples of what a closed wing opposed to the open wing looks like. When the wing is closed, all the feathers are tucked beneath the wing in layers. I'll show you exactly what I mean in the steps below. When you're having problems drawing feathers, just imagine them as layers; which start off large, and taper into smaller layers on top of the larger ones.   STEP 8. This is a very quick one sheet lesson on the birds wing in two different poses; expanded and closed. For the open pose you will simply draw a single line, then at the left side of the line begin drawing the feathers. Once that is completed you can draw another layer of feathers, then finally the soft smaller feathers. For the second wing draw a loop, then add the feathers, then draw another layer of feathers, then the final formation of feathers. Erase the mistakes and the blue wings should be what you end up with.   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8.