How To Draw A Cardinal Step By Step

How to Draw A Cardinal: Step By Step Guide

As majestic as they are fun to draw, cardinals can be the most beautiful creatures you’ll set your eyes upon. Drawing a cardinal can be intimidating, but with a few simple steps, you can make it as easy as a piece of cake. From sketching to adding in details and shading in the wings, this step-by-step guide will help you create a delightful, realistic cardinal.

Step 1 – Sketch the Shape and the Wings

To begin, lightly sketch out an oval shape, incorporating a slight shift in the bottom of the oval – this will form a basis for the cardinal’s silhouette and body. Then, draw two slightly curved lines from the top part of the oval connecting the body and wings, and two straight lines from the bottom part of the oval to create a connection from the body and legs. Sketch the general shape of the two wings and the two legs to get the general idea of your drawing.

Step 2 – Defining the Cardinal’s Shape and Colours

After you have completed the sketch of the basic shape, start adding definition and details by drawing the head, neck, beak and tail, and then completing the wings. Use subtle curves to draw in the feathers and increase the body’s definition. Create depth by adding shadows to the wings and body – this will give the cardinal a 3-dimensional look. Choose a deep, vibrant red hue to colour the wings, and add a light brown to the body, adding deeper tones and shades in various areas to create a more natural and realistic look.

Step 3 – Adding the Finishing Touches

When you’re done with the basic drawing and colouring in of the cardinal, you can move on to the finishing touches – add small highlights and shadows to the wings and body to make the feathers more visible. Create more realism and character by adding details such as individual feathers and small beak details. Use a dark coloured pencil or marker to add accents, such as the eyes, mouth and claws. Lastly, you can add further dimension and pop to your drawing by adding some white highlights to the wings and beak.

Step 4 – Shading In The Wings

Shading in the wings helps to create a more realistic look, as well as adding a dynamic effect to your drawing. Start by using a light coloured pencil or charcoal to draw in small areas and details of the wings, and adding in medium and dark shades of grey to create a pattern that gradually darkens the further away it gets from the centre of the wing. Use the lighter colours to add in highlights and to create a 3-dimensional look.

Step 5 – Finishing the Cardinal

Once you’ve finished all of the steps above, you can go ahead and finish your drawing – add some more small details and use a thicker line for the outlines to make everything look more precise. If you’re satisfied with the amount of details that you’ve added, you can use a black pen or marker to immediately add the outlines – this helps to add the finishing touch and makes it look professional. And tada – you’ve successfully drawn your own gorgeous cardinal!

Step 6 – Further Enhancements to Your Drawing

Enhance your cardinal drawing further by adding an interesting background – this could be a tree, a cloud or a rock. Use the same techniques to add more details and shading to the background. Furthermore, you can add more colour and dimension by adding a bit of red onto the beak and surrounding areas, or by adding in the sky and clouds to make your drawing appear to be in its natural habitat. Once you’ve completed the above steps, you will have an amazing looking cardinal drawing that you can keep as a memento or gift someone!

Step 7 – Practice and Experimentation

If you’re just starting out, practice and experimentation are essential when learning how to draw a cardinal. Spend time sketching out different shapes and sizes, and use different materials and a variety of colours to come up with creative designs. Moreover, look at images of cardinals and use them as references when drawing. With some hard work and dedication, you’ll be an ace at drawing the majestic cardinal in no time.

Step 8 – Keep At It!

Don’t give up if you feel like you’re stuck – practice and keep at it until you get it right. Cardinal drawings, like any other drawing, will take practice and patience. As long as you keep at it and are consistent with your practice, you will eventually achieve success. Look up and watch tutorials online, and study photos that other artists have drawn to get a better understanding on how to draw a cardinal.

Robert Ortiz is an artist who has been writing about art and design for over ten years. His writing focuses on the creative process of art, from the conceptual to the material, and highlights its importance in our daily lives. He has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has also attended other prestigious art schools like Savannah College of Art and Design. He has a passion for exploring the boundaries between fine art, design, commercial work, and technology. His work extends to social media campaigns, website development, magazine articles, video tutorials and more.

Leave a Comment