How to Draw a Macaw

The large and brightly colorful bird Macaw belongs to the family of parrots (also includes parakeets, cockatoos, etc). Based on its looks alone, you would know that they are all relatives since they share a few distinctive features.
Here's an example of how you could draw them.
  • Define the length of the wings and the size of the body.

The wingspan of a macaw is quite wide, with each of the wings being longer than the body. it would even look longer when the body is a bit foreshortened (angled in a way that it would look shorter). To begin, establish the slightly foreshortened body using an oval. Draw a smaller one to establish the size and angle of the head. once the size of the body is established, draw two arcs on each side, with each being significantly longer than the oval (body).

  • Complete the base figure of the macaw.

The position of the bird is a bit more tilted on the right side. In this case, the outlines that form the shapes of the wings would be slightly different. The right side is spread wider sideways, while the half of the left wing is angled and raised. Make a reference line for the division of the wings’ portions. Aside from the wide wingspan. A macaw also has long tail feathers. They spread like a fan when in flight.

  • Start drawing the feathers.

Define the shorter wing feathers by following the division you’ve made. Draw the tail feathers as well. Add some texture to the outlines of the tail feathers by creating some  toothed or jagged edges when you make them.

  • Complete the details.

Draw the rest of the wings to finish your work with the outlines. Thicken the legs and draw the undertail coverts (the set of short feathers at the base of the tail).  make a visible division of the bird’s feather colors. A macaw usually has a patch on his throat which sometimes look like a short beard. Specifically, this would be a gold and blue macaw. As the name suggest, it has two base colors. the undersides of this birds is goldish yellow while the topside is bright blue.

  • Retrace the outlines with ink.

Once you have defined all the important outlines, retrace your line work with a pen or any fine point marker. Remember to only use thin lines for the inner outlines (like the outline division of the colors, from the top of the head and extending on the topside of the wings).

  • When you are done retracing, erase all the pencil markings to prepare it for coloring.Add the distinct face print around the eyes as well. 

 

  • Apply the first base color of the macaw.

Due to the position of the bird, it would be composed of mostly its underside’s color. Use a yellow base that has a hint of copper tone. it could be gold (as the name suggest) or fire yellow.

  • Apply the second base color.

The topside including the undertail coverts would have the second base color. Use a bright grade of blue with a hint of mint green which could be azure or cyan blue.

  • Color the head and the legs.

Apply the colors of the facial features. The bill is basically gray (steel).a gold and yellow macaw usually has a bright lime green cap/forehead, a white face and the black throat. The legs are basically umber brown in color.

Once all the base colors are set, start elaborating the tones to portray texture and dimensions.

  • Add a brighter and darker value the yellow areas.

With light hand strokes of rowed lines, apply a darker value with a yellowish orange tone (like fire orange) to the farther side of the body (back portion of the underside). Use the same tone to portray the shadows cast of each overlapping portions (below the neck, the curve of the chest, underneath each wing feathers). Add a  faint row of a brighter yellow tone to the side of the neck as a highlight (basic yellow).

 

 

  • Add a brighter and darker value the yellow areas.

With light hand strokes of rowed lines, apply a darker value with a yellowish orange tone (like fire orange) to the farther side of the body (back portion of the underside). Use the same tone to portray the shadows cast of each overlapping portions (below the neck, the curve of the chest, underneath each wing feathers). Add a  faint row of a brighter yellow tone to the side of the neck as a highlight (basic yellow).

Add more values to the smaller areas as well.

  • Add an even darker value to the blue and yellow areas.

Apply apricot orange to the farthest portions of the yellow areas. Use denim blue to cast shadows to the blue areas.

  • Elaborate the values of the colors even further.

Keep on adjusting the tones until the dimensions and textures are portrayed properly. use copper as a darkest tone of yellow, right underneath the tight overlapping edges of the tail and wing feathers. Darken the sides of the beak as well, so as the edges of the green accent of the head and the undersides of the white face.

More step-by-step drawing tutorials like this are available in our books. Each book contains several examples of carefully explained instructions, in a way that every beginner with no experience in drawing could easily follow and learn. 

https://l2draw.com/collections/drawing-for-beginners

 

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