Knowing how to draw a turkey is almost a “must know” for Turkey (bird)
fans. I’ve made this drawing tutorial as simple as possible. I am sure you will like it.
I’ve been thinking to draw a turkey in color pencils first. However, if you google out some photos of turkeys you’ll understand that it would be a little time-consuming work.
So, to make it simple, this time I decided to draw the turkey only in graphite pencil.
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, to make it the national bird of the United States?
To draw a turkey may seem just too complicated because of its too many feathers, etc. Yes, I agree, it really looks quite complex.
However, there is always a simple way to draw even very complicated animals. This technique is not a secret and with a little practice, everyone can learn how to do it.
Click on the picture to enlarge it and observe the body, posture, position of the turkey’s legs, neck, wings, tail, etc.
This looks deceptively simple. It is but you have to draw these two ellipses (eggs) in the same or similar ratio as you see in the picture.
I wrote a small remark of the (approximately) 20-degree angle. This should be obeyed to capture the best position of the body. I know it looks a bit too technical but it helps a lot.
So sketch these two ellipses and one small ball – that will be the head.
Now inside of the ellipse sketch another one approximately in the same or similar position as you see in the picture.
Outline the neck. This should be easy. Draw a weak axis–like a line across the center of the head. This line will indicate the exact position of the eyes and the beak.
Sketch the outline of the huge tail fan. By weak pencil lines sketch out the position of the legs. Draw a half-like ellipse, which represents the tail wings. This ellipse should be reaching the imaginary ground level.
Outline the snood. That is the flap of skin, which grows from the base of the turkey's beak and hangs over the beak. Finally, add the eyes.
Now you have the basic structure of turkey ready. At this point, your sketch should already look like a turkey. Also, at this point, you already know how to outline the entire body in proper balance.
You see, the whole process of learning how to draw a turkey is not so very complicated after all.
You can begin erasing unnecessary pencil lines. It’s good to use a pencil type eraser, if you have one handy because there are so many narrow spaces to erase.
When ready, you can outline the feather lines on the whole body. It should look something like you see in this picture. Please make it in very weak pencil lines because you may need to erase some of them later.
Sketch out the shape of both legs.
A soft 6B pencil will be very handy now. If you don’t have a soft pencil then OK, use the standard HB pencil.
Begin to outline the feathers from the tail fan if you are right-handed. If you are left-handed do it from the front side of the body.
Simultaneously, you are erasing all unnecessary pencil lines. This requires you to do it one by one, so do it.
Drawing a turkey that would look like a turkey often needs detailed work on feathers. You can skip this step of course but your turkey will look less attractive.
When you are ready with the feather work and erase all the rest, your drawing should look something like this one or better.
You can outline the silhouette of the turkey’s head and the beak into their final shape. Draw a black eye with a small white dot inside of it to give the eye a more natural look.
At this stage, you virtually mastered the lesson of how to draw a turkey. Now you have a complete drawing for the coloring page. You can choose to continue in pencil or you can color it.
If you decided to continue in pencil then start to darken every single feather on the turkey as you see in the picture.
Please be careful, because some parts of the feathers are rather grey and some are darker or black.
Your finished drawing should look like this or better.
I am sure you did a terrific job. After you finish your drawing you can click on the banner below to upload it, we would love to see your work.