Let's draw a Kingfisher bird. Why did I chose Kingfisher?
It's simple, because I like Kingfisher. These
birds are truly awesome.
It’s a lovely and clever small creature and you may be lucky if you spot some in wilderness.
Besides, drawing a Kingfisher bird is also an excellent exercise for practicing drawing birds.
Shape of the body is very simple so even if you make a few mistakes here and there is OK. Just get a pencil and paper and let's begin to sketch.
Before you make the first pencil strokes, try to divide the body into smaller sections.
Both the head and the trunk are ellipses. You can also notice that the back curve continues directly to the beak.
It is – of course – an imaginary line, but it helps a lot to create balance and capture the best proportions.
When you draw a kingfisher bird you need to seriously capture 2 basic body volumes as accurate as possible in the beginning.
Those are the head and the trunk.
From now on you can begin to refine the detail drawings.
Observe how each part on the body is of different color.
Please make a special attention when you draw the eye. Notice how close the eye actually is to the beak. It almost touches it.
Almost every bird has the eye very close to the beak.
But when we draw birds out of our heads (without seeing one) we tend to draw the eye in the middle of the head and wondering why this bird looks so unnatural.
You’ve just discovered a drawing technique trick of how to draw a kingfisher bird.
Draw the eye. Draw it in details if possible.
If you’ll have the eyes ready, suddenly the bird will start being more alive than only a drawing.
Work out the beak as best as you can.
Kingfisher has rather huge beak comparing to the bird’s body. Such beak needs a little detailed “make up”.
By very gentle pencil touch, outline the feathers on the wings and on the back.
These weak lines will serve you as important guidelines when you draw a bird in color (pencils or other medium).
Make sure you have the eye done right. Notice that the eye is darkest in the middle.
There are two small light reflection spots on the upper side of the eye. Draw them, I mean use your pencil-shaped eraser or kneaded eraser and make those highlight spots there. Those light spots will make the bird look more realistic.
Now you can begin to put color. The reason I started with orange colored body parts is that those are the easiest to color.
Blue colored feathers need a little detailed work.
So work out the orange color first. Notice that the feathers on the bird’s belly are made by single pencil strokes of different intensity.
Some parts are darker orange and some are very light.
When you have the orange part almost ready, you can begin to put color on the blue parts.
I would recommend coloring all in the same intensity without pushing the pencil.
Just blunt light blue color.
Mind however, that you make the pencil strokes in the same direction as the feathers – simultaneously.
That will create a natural realistic look.
Although I am teaching you here of how to draw a bird, I am also a
human, making mistakes; so I want to show you what I just did.
I was “too much in a hurry” and made too strong wing feather contour outlines.
Originally I didn’t want to let you see this mistake but since we all can learn from this I want to show it to you…not to make the same “quick step”.
Here I erased and softened these feather outlines. Now they are acceptable but we shall work them out later.
Here comes a little difficult part. But only a little. The feathers on the Kingfisher bird’s head and the neck (collar).
They are combined with darker spots. These spots are an effect of layers of the feathers.
In the first paragraphs I mentioned that to learn how to draw a bird you
need to master how to capture two basic body parts; the head and the
When you draw a Kingfisher bird, the beak is very distinctive and needs a special attention in order not to destroy the drawing you’ve just made.
I used two color pencils to create the best possible look of the beak.
Combine these two color pencils on a separate paper first.
Leave the bright line in the middle of the beak and try to make the shades on the beak looking as natural as possible.
Gradually continue to put darker blue on all blue parts where necessary.
On the back, you can occasionally use also orange.
Be very careful with orange color on the blue parts because you’ll easily get an unwanted green.
The green color actually is there, but very weak. Almost insignificant.
It is better if you add a suitable background color when you draw a kingfisher bird.
The background color should come as the last – if you draw on white
Good idea is to draw on colored paper from the beginning.
Kingfisher’s natural environment is water with greenery.
I put this moss green background so that the white part on the throat will also be visible better.