U.S. Art Supply | How-to-Draw a Cardinal Using Colored Pencils

How-to-Draw a Cardinal using Colored Pencils

Difficulty: Easy
How-to-Draw a Cardinal using Colored Pencils

Today, I will be creating a very colorful songbird in deed. We will be drawing a male Cardinal. With a deep scarlet color and a rather conspicuous crest on their heads. They are super fun to draw. So, let’s get to it!

What You'll Need

Colored Pencils

  • Bright Red
  • Reddish Orange
  • Dark Gray
  • Black
  • Green

Other Supplies

  • Sketch Book

Step 1: Head Sketch

To begin, I start by sketching out the Cardinal’s head including the eyes, beak and nostrils. In this step, I do all of my corrections and I make sure all of the proportions are right before I continue.

Step 2: Body Sketch

Then, I sketch out the entire body including the wings, legs and tail feathers.

Step 3: Dark Shadows

Now, I am going to start with the darkest shadows first using the black colored pencil. I always create colored pencil illustrations this way, dark to light. It is easier to blend colors together this way.

Step 4: Light Shading

Switching to a dark Grey pencil, I am ready to begin my shading. The shading takes a delicate touch and you want to rely on multiple layers of pencil markings to achieve this.

Step 5: Cardinal's True Colors

I am ready to add the Cardinal’s true colors. I begin this by using a bright red pencil. Now I am not coloring in a coloring book so, I am creating wildlife with each pencil stroke. Make each stroke count by marking in the direction of the bird’s feather layout.

Step 6: Fill-in Feathers

A bird’s body contains tens of thousands of feathers, and I cannot draw them all in. I can, however draw in a way that represents them all. Here, I use the bright Red and Reddish Orange together and draw in the feathers on its body keeping in mind the natural flow of their feathers.

Step 7: Cactus Perch

Next, I have to create a perch on which my Cardinal can hang out. I want my bird to be resting on a cactus and I draw this in using shades of green, grey and black.

Step 8: Final Details

Finally, I can take a dark red color and add some final rendering on the bird’s body. I want my bird to appear nice and fat for the approaching winter.

Thanks for creating with me today and join us again for another fun US Art Supply tutorial.

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