How to Draw Birds as Simple Cartoons

How to draw birds - a simple cartoon image.

Learning how to draw birds is not only simple, but once you draw one – you may just want to go ahead and draw more… many more! And that’s what this lesson is all about.

Here you’re going to learn how to create a very simple and very generic-looking bird. I say ‘generic’ because I want to ensure that you stick to the framework as much as possible. Then, afterwards, you get to change things up a bit.

Actually – you get to change things up a lot!

When you’re finished working through this lesson, you can then go ahead and take it a step further by discovering how using only one simple generic cartoon bird framework, it is possible to draw all sorts of unique-looking birds, ones that take on the look and characteristics of whatever you decide.

And so, let’s begin!

Framework for drawing cartoon birds.

First Step – How to Draw Birds… Simple Frameworks

Start by drawing a generic cartoon framework composed of seven simple shapes – four circles and two rectangles. Use a pencil and keep your lines nice and light.

Looking at the left you can see that I’ve organized the shapes in a certain way. Keep in mind… this is ONLY an example. So long as you get your shapes in – close to – the same position as mine, you’ll be in good ‘shape’ for drawing your animal.

Still, don’t change your framework too much.

I would like the shapes to be in the same position/angle/etc. as mine so that when you go on to draw some other variations using this framework, everything will go nice and smooth.

Drawing the head of cartoon birds.

Second Step – This is Very Simple

Alright, just as the title suggests – go ahead and draw a simple bird.

No, I’m not suggesting that doing so is the easiest thing ever, but I would like you to ‘keep things simple’. Do so by sticking to the shapes that compose the framework.

Below and to the right, you can see how I’ve gone ahead and drawn a simple bird, one step at a time. And as always, I began with the head. Notice how the head and body match up perfectly with the circles of the framework?

Do the same with your drawing. Begin with the head and then slowly work your way down to the tail.

The steps, for how to draw birds, as simple cartoons…

Drawing cartoon birds step by step.

Five simple steps later, and you’ve got a really basic-looking cartoon drawing. Again, it’s basic in the sense that we’ve kept our lines close to the form that the shapes in the framework take on.

And now, only one last thing remains. Erase your framework lines to reveal your drawing!

Cartoon drawing of a bird.

Final Step – Remove the Framework

Once you erase the underlying framework lines that you had originally lightly sketched with pencil, all that’s left is exactly what you were trying to draw.

And so, congratulations! Your mission is accomplished and you now can draw them more easily.

But of course, this is a ‘special’ lesson – special in that we’re now going to take things a step further. I’d like you to continue with this lesson – this time redrawing your cartoon so that takes on a different look than the first time around.

It’s here where I think you’ll really appreciate not only how effective a framework can be when helping you draw, but also – how important it is to be able to ‘branch off’ and come up with your own unique ideas!

When you’re ready, click here to see how to draw birds, or anything – where one simple framework can yield an infinite number of different variations!