How to Draw a Quetzal

How to draw a Quetzal

Here, let’s draw one of the most beautiful birds around – a quetzal… the very same ones you *might see* – on a trip to Monteverde, waaaaay up in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.

And yes, I do mean *might*.

Catching a glimpse of one of these usually-concealed birds, isn’t easy. On your next trip to Costa Rica – and to Monteverde… be sure to team up with an experienced birder, for the best chance to spot one!

On to drawing now…

How to Draw a Quetzal, Step by Step

So what makes drawing this bird so interesting?

Well just like with anything we’re about to draw – it really helps to be able to distinguish those *distinct* shapes, forms, extrusions, features, etc…

…those things that help make our subject, OUR SUBJECT.

For example, a quetzal is different than any other bird. They’ve got these beautiful bright green, turquoise, blue, and red feathers.

Their heads are really small…

Their tail-feathers are really long…

And yes – it’s key features like these – that will really help to cartoonify this interesting-looking bird of the cloud forest – beginning with a rough framework, like so…

How to draw a Quetzal

And then, structure in place – it’s on to the window to our soon-to-be little friend’s soul…

The eye!

How to draw a Quetzal

Simple spiky lines, big ovular eyes, and even a little triangular nose – we can already see how it’s going to turn out.

How does yours look? How will yours look? Get creative!

How to draw a Quetzal

Mirroring it on over now, gradually bring forth the other eye (remember – its head is tilted slightly, take a look at the grey cross in behind).

After that, let’s get at that branch the bird is perched on. They way I’ve done it – is to have it all blotched up with moss – just like it would be, way up in the cloud forest…

How to draw a Quetzal

And then, sketching in the actual branch lines underneath — is SO MUCH easier now.

As is sketching in the body and initial tail feathers of our quetzal.

How to draw a Quetzal

Here’s a really fun part – swooping down with the pencil (or stylus!) – to create those long, elegant tail feathers.

You can see too below, I’ve gone ahead and completed its body. Taking our time, carefully – and intelligently – placing each line, as it makes the most sense to do so…

How to draw a Quetzal

Finishing it all up – a couple more tail feathers, details, and then finally…

Some awesome-looking color, gradients and all!

How to draw a Quetzal

And that pretty much does it — a neat little way, to sketch a cute-looking cartoon quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds of the cloud forest…

…of Costa Rica…

And of the world. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the lesson!