Time for yet another animal drawing lesson, this time – how to draw a cartoon eagle!
Eagles – bald eagles in particular, are always the first birds that comes to mind when I think ‘birds of prey’. It’s quite the stunning looking animal with it’s trademark white markings – head and tail.
By the way, you may remember another page on this site where there’s a cartoon eagle. If you like, take a look at the ‘Drawing Cartoons with Frameworks‘ page, and see how I drew a very simple eagle based on a very simple, generic framework. It may give you some ideas before you tackle this lesson.
And yes, this lesson focuses on a bit more realistic-looking eagle. But as always, feel free to deviate where you see fit, coming up with and applying your own ideas as you move forward.
Let’s get a move on!…
First Step – Cartoon Eagle Framework
A good framework from which to draw your raptor can vary, much the same as it can with any other drawing. Again, check out the link mentioned above and you’ll see that even the most simple of frameworks does the job.
In comparison, the framework you’re drawing here is a bit more complex. It’s a better reflection of how a real bald eagle would look, but still keeps to the simplistic nature of drawing cartoons.
Well, time to get at it. Begin your framework by sketching out a circle for the head and an oval for the body – just like I’ve done in the first example. Do this and then follow along with the next to steps below…
In this lesson, the eagle you’re drawing is in a standing/perched position, with it’s wings folded in. The three triangles above, from top to bottom – represent the wing, tail and leg of your cartoon eagle.
Draw your triangles similar to mine. Keep your lines light at this point. And when you’re done this, go ahead and follow through with a few more lines marking the eye, beak position, the rest of your eagle’s foot – and a couple lines to mark the large lower feather lines on the wing. I’ve made them green so that they stand out better.
All done? Good stuff! Now let’s continue, beginning with the eye and beak.
Second Step – Draw an Eye and a Beak
Very much like other lessons here on the site, begin by drawing the eye of your eagle. Notice below how I’ve included the brow by drawing a curved line above the circular area? I recommend you do something similar as it keeps with the "serious – I mean business" look of the eagle.
In four phases, here’s how to draw the eye and beak of your cartoon eagle…
If you’d rather your eagle have a closed beak, here’s what to do. In the second image above – beginning at the corner of the mouth/beak, draw the lower portion so that it doesn’t drop down as far. Draw it so that while still curving, it stays closer to the top of the beak – eventually meeting with the line, just under the tip.
When you’re finished the eye and beak, let’s continue on with the rest of it’s body…
Third Step – Drawing the Head and Body of Your Cartoon Eagle
In drawing the rest of your eagle, take a look at the four phases below. The head is pretty easy to draw — make use of your guideline from the first step of the lesson. Then, follow around counter-clockwise to bring the back, wing and feathers into view.
Saving the tail for last, here’s how to go about it…
After you’ve drawn the head, back and lower left wing portion, you’ll then want to go ahead and draw two layers of feathers. And that of course is where the green lines come into play. Working left to right (and overlapping from left to right) carefully draw in each wing feather. Pay attention to curvature — the goal here is to have each of the feathers line up/curve around closely with the guidelines.
The tail can be drawn in a number of different ways once the body is in place. See what you can come up with, and then it’s on to the final step…
Final Step – Complete Your Eagle
To complete your cartoon eagle drawing, start by drawing the legs and talons. Remember, the talons of an eagle are large and sharp!
Next, a series of small ‘V’s’ above the feather lines help to give off the impression of many small feathers. This is a very easy task – giving off the desired effect with little time and energy spent.
You could keep going if you like – add some lines on the feet, draw in a nostril – perhaps even some more feather lines. But in keeping to the spirit of drawing simple cartoons, I’d say that you’re in a pretty good position to wrap things up!
And in doing so, get out the pencil crayons to help give this bald cartoon eagle it’s trademark look – a white head, white tail, and a brown body.
Congratulations on a job well done!