How to Draw Birds in Illustrator

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Drawing birds in Illustrator will require the use of the ellipse tool, along with a few other components from the main toolbar. Draw birds in Illustrator with help from a well-versed web, graphic and illustrative designer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Using Adobe Illustrator
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Alex Cecilio. I'm a graphic artist and I'm going to show you how to draw a bird in Illustrator. So the first step I'm going to take is to go to your toolbar and use the ellipse tool and here we're just going to draw a little head and make sure that your stroke is not filled. And so here we have the head now, you can do this several ways. I'm going to draw the body with the paintbrush because I'm using a pen tablet and drawing the shape of a bird can be a little tricky with a pen tool but if you're familiar with the pen tool then all the more better but I'm going to use this. So I'm going to draw the body and birds, their bodies, their heads are almost directly connected to their bodies. They barely have a neck but they do have a neck but it's not very visible because of all their feathers. So you're going to want this kind of little bump and then I'm going to draw the tail and the tail usually looks a little something like this and when you've drawn your shape that you want, you can just go over to your colors and just switch them so that way you'll have the filled in tail as opposed to the lined tail. So I'm just going to adjust that a little bit and so now we've got this bird tail and so then you can add another layer and go back to your paintbrush or you know, the pen tool, whichever you're using and select a different color. Actually what I'm going to do first is make sure this is all one shape which you can go to your pathfinder window which you go to window pathfinder and mine is already open and this window, this little window will pop up and you're going to want to unite your shape so that way if you want to add a line to it, if you want an outline it will be pretty simple to do and it won't outline all the shapes. But that's for later but make sure you do it first. Okay so then we're going to go back to our layer that we just added. We're going to switch our colors so that our stroke is selected and select, I'm going to use black and sometimes this can be a little tricky because the paintbrush tool isn't always the shape you want it in so I'm going to select a different size of my stroke and the way I'm going to do this is just hold down this arrow and it has a series of numbers that you can pick. I'm going to pick .5 and that will give me a thin line and so then what I'm going to do is I'm going to actually draw little wings like so. And then a little eye. Okay so here you've got your basic body shape. Now the beak can be tricky because birds have different beaks. So I'm going to create the beak with a pen tool and I'm going to select a more orangey kind of yellow and I'm actually going to add the layer, go to the layer below my bird and just start by doing this and actually I'm not getting the shape I want with that tool so I'm just going to go back to using the brush tool and I'm going to have it so that this is empty, the stroke is colored, I'm just going to draw a little beak like that. And then select it and reverse the colors so you've got your bird beak and you can move it wherever you want. I'm going to have it there and then I'm going to actually outline it. I didn't select a color, let's see, let's do black. And then you can, like I said, change the stroke, I'm going to change it to .5 and then I'm going to outline my bird as well and then I'm going to make the stroke, so that's 9, that's .5. Alright so now we've got this bird shape but we're not finished so we're going to add one more layer and make sure it's on the bottom and we're going to do the feet. So once again have your stroke filled in and then select a color. I'm going to select a yellow again, orangey yellow and ten just start drawing the feet like that. And so then you can reverse that and actually if you want you can even add another toe. Whoops, and so that won't always work so let's just make sure it's like a separate part and then you can put this there and rearrange it, alright and then you can go to object group or you can go to, actually we're going to go to the pathfinder window again and we're going to do unite so it's one shape and then you can select your stroke tool, select, whatever color you're outlining in and change the weight again, and then, if you want two feet, you can just copy and paste it like that. And then when we zoom out, we have our bird. And he looks like he's looking for something. My name is Alex Cecilio and this is how you draw a bird in Illustrator. Thank you.

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