I mentioned previously that I am going through the Laws Guide to Drawing Birds. Since then, I’ve learned that the author of the book has changed the way teaches drawing the outline of birds. The updated recommendation is to start with capturing the back line of the bird first, from the top of the head to the tail. This is way less complicated than the step by step process in the book, and intuitive (it’s how I would have drawn if I hadn’t taken any lessons).

The book is still valuable however, for understanding eye and beak placement, different feather groups, postures, etc.

One thing I learned from the book that is really helpful is to use Prismacolor Col Erase Non-Photo blue pencils to sketch the outlines.



I love this pencil for sketching outlines. It is so faint and erases really well. Once you have the sketch and shape that you like, you can trace over with your permanent outline choice and erase the blue with a kneaded eraser. I used Prismacolor Light Umber pencil for my outline.


And then added colour and details with more Prismacolors.



Here is a sketch I tried where I began with the brown pencil outline. It doesn’t work as well since you can’t erase unnecessary lines.


Drawing birds is challenging! It takes patience to get the right proportions and details. I’m also finding it a challenge to learn how to use colored pencils effectively. But it’s a process I enjoy.

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