Friday, February 27, 2009

Fine Art Fridays #3- How to Draw a Hummingbird in Six Steps



This was a post from a while ago, but what the heck, a classic is always in style, and I am beginning to have visits from these lovely creatures in my backyard again.

Many a seemingly complicated drawing project is really simple if you just break it down into steps. When teaching a lesson, I always start with a black line coloring book style drawing. Most details and color blending is done as the last steps in a project, but tends to get seen first and can distract you from finding the "bones" of the drawing. I obviously used a still picture to do this project and drawing from life is much more challenging, but the principle is the same. Practicing gesture drawing in quick sketches is the best way to get the structure of your drawing and then go back and add details later.
This blackline came from the Jan Brett website and is available as a free coloring page.

I tried to break this down into manageable pieces without making too many steps.
If you find it confusing, just try to break it down into even smaller steps. What does a shape look like to you? Do you see a triangle or maybe a Hershey Kiss. Do you see a sideways letter C or maybe a rainbow or happy face? Making those kind of connections is what turns you into an artist, not simply following someone else's steps.

The finished hummingbird at the top of this post was completed with watercolor pencil and white oil pastel for highlights.

Below you will find some images of real hummingbirds to reference for color ideas.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Julie,
You really know how to catch my attention. I am a hummingbird fanatic. I am very sad now that I just got done cleaning my seven hummmingbird feeders for next hummingbird season here in northwestern PA. I am an art teacher in a Christian school and am always telling my students to look at the shapes, lines, etc. (not the entire object at once) before they draw. I am always emphasizing to draw one small line or shape at a time. I will continue to check back to your blog as often as I can.
Thanks and Blessings to you too, Christine

Ms. Julie's Place said...

Have you read Drawing With Children By Mona Brooks, the founder of Monart Art Schools?
I think her methodology is a great way to get kids, especially drawing phobic ones, to start honing their drawing skills.
Very exciting stuff for teachers to read too as she has a whole section on integrating art and other subjects.
Love in Christ,
Julie

flmom said...

Thank you! My oldest, who is very reluctant when it comes to drawing, usually responds well to the step-by-step approach.

Anonymous said...

THANK U JULIE! I AM CRAFTING EVERYONES CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THIS YEAR AND MY AUNT LOOOVVVEEES HUMMINGBIRDS SOOO...I DONE YOUR STEP BY STEP ON A GOURD FOR HER AND IT WAS AMAZING I WAS ABLE TO CONQURE IT THE FIRST DRAWING SO WHEN I WENT TO THE GOURD IT LOOKED LIKE I HAD BEEN DRAWING THEM EVERYDAY...THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS

Nancie Kay said...

I'll try this next year - we have so many hummingbirds here in AZ & the kids would love this. Thanks for the step-by-step!