The cardinal, also known as the redbird, is a passerine bird native to North and South America. Apart from its vibrant and brilliant red plumage, the cardinal is admired for its mesmerizing singing talent and remarkable speed in flight. It comes as no surprise that the cardinal bird has become a highly sought-after subject for drawing tutorials.
In response to popular demand, we have created a step-by-step process to guide you in drawing a cardinal with ease. This tutorial consists of 9 quick and simple steps that will unleash your artistic skills in capturing the beauty of this magnificent bird.
How to Draw a Cardinal – Let’s Begin!
Step 1: Creating the Beak
Start by drawing an uneven triangular shape on its side to form the upper beak of the cardinal. Right beneath the upper beak, draw a similar figure to create the lower beak. Remember to make the upper beak larger and more pointed than the lower beak. To ensure proper placement, use reference lines by drawing a vertical and horizontal line intersecting in the upper left corner of your paper.
Step 2: Outlining the Head
Draw a curved shape surrounding the beak to outline the head of the cardinal. Add pointed clumps of feathers at the top to give texture to your drawing. Remember, since the cardinal is facing sideways, position the beak on the left edge of the head.
Step 3: Drawing the Body
Extend the lines of the head to draw an oval shape directly connected to it. This forms the outline of the cardinal’s body. Use light strokes when drawing the outline and avoid pressing too hard with your pencil. This way, you can easily make adjustments later if needed.
Step 4: Adding the Tail
Draw two narrow elongated figures side by side beneath the bottom back of the cardinal. These figures represent the feathers on the cardinal’s tail. Ensure that they are straight with curved bottom edges. At this point, half of the tail should be formed.
Step 5: Completing the Tail
Continue drawing figures similar to the ones in the previous step until you reach the desired length and thickness of the tail. The tail should form a diagonal rectangle with a curved bottom edge. By the end of this step, the tail of the cardinal should be fully structured.
Step 6: Sketching the Wing
Draw a diagonal oval shape with a pointed bottom on the side of the cardinal’s body. This outlines the cardinal’s wing. Then, add an elongated U-shaped curve overlapping inside the wing to create the texture of clumped feathers. Remember, since the cardinal is facing left, only its left wing will be visible.
Step 7: Detailing the Foot
Beneath the lower body of the cardinal, draw two narrow elongated figures side by side to represent the visible claws of the bird. Angle the claws to make it appear as though the cardinal is clinging to a tree branch. This will be important for the next step.
Step 8: Drawing the Branch
Draw a narrow, uneven line below the cardinal to create the branch. Embrace the irregularity and jaggedness of the line to add realism. Ensure that the branch aligns with the cardinal’s claws, giving the impression that it is comfortably perched on a tree branch.
Step 9: Adding Facial Features
Complete the cardinal’s face by adding its features. Draw a circle on the upper part of the head to outline the bird’s eye. Within the eye, draw a smaller circle and shade the entire eye except for the tiny circle inside. Additionally, draw a line across the cardinal’s head, encompassing its eyes and beak. This feature is one of the cardinal’s most distinctive characteristics.
Once you have successfully drawn the cardinal, it’s time for the most exciting step: choosing the colors and bringing your drawing to life! Male cardinals are primarily bright red, while female cardinals exhibit subtle brown hues with touches of red on their wings, tails, and crests. Feel free to use the original colors or get creative with your own unique palette. Unleash your imagination and watch as the cardinal comes alive with vibrant colors.
Remember to enjoy the process and have fun as you explore your artistic skills in capturing the beauty of the cardinal bird. Happy drawing!