How to Draw a Realistic Crow, Draw Crows

Artist: catlucker / September 3, 2012

Step 1.

First start with this interesting shape. Sketch lightly the 2 oval circular shapes and fan for the tail. Draw the legs and little hill for a stump.

Step 2.

Draw in the crow's head, beak, and feathers.

Step 3.

Take you time to draw in his chest and beautiful wing feathers.

Step 4.

Sketch in the fluff of his chest, belly, legs, and stump. Watch closely how they relate to the guidelines.

Step 5.

Now draw in his tail feathers. If you haven't already, you can erase your guidelines.

Step 6.

I made this line drawing especially for you if you don't want to do the pencil shading and blending part. Otherwise, let us continue to the pencil drawing part.

Step 7.

Here is the outline done with a 0.7mm mechanical pencil. Look closely and see if your lines look something like this. You can erase if certain areas like the eyes or nose don't line up. Observe how there are more details, like the dots. Be patient wi   

Step 8.

You probably wonder how in the world can I get the crow's feathers jet black. I have help with the 9B Graphite Crayon (it's a little waxy-shiny) and it does a great job. Check out the size comparison to my other 9B Monolith Pencil (which I call Graph   

Step 9.

CUBE, BALL, CONE, & CYLINDER -- These are shapes everywhere in nature. It helps to know how to shade, add texture, etc. Recognizing these shapes, simplifies the landscape or subject you're looking at. TONE, SHADING, SHADOW, & TEXTURE -- Tone is the a   

Step 10.

Here are more exercise in case you want to practice for more realism. I practice too! And don't worry about crocked lines. That's all part of the practice. The next steps, you'll be pencil shading and learning more about the raven and crow.

Step 11.

My advice is to take your time drawing in the shaded feathers. Start with the No. 2 pencil and make sure it is sharp. Draw in the lighter feathers in short strokes. The darker feathers and shaded areas (throat, head, chest, belly, and leg), draw with   

Step 12.

Sometimes my drawing hand doesn't cooperate with me so I need to improvise. I inked the shadow underneath the wing and decided it didn't blend with the picture. So I proceeded to use the 9B Crayon to darken the tail feathers and belly.

Step 13.

Continue to sketch (with 9B pencil or No. 2 with more pressure) in a diagonal direction, stroking. TIP: Make sure your pencil is sharpened. This technique gives an appearance of feather barbs (or a feathery look).

Step 14.

It takes time or a few layers to darken the bird. As you blend with your stump, the graphite covers more area... but that makes the overall coverage lighter.

Step 15.

Adding more graphite for darkness is a perfect solution. Sketch in more lines to gently darken with a 9B Crayon... look at your reference so you don't overdo this application. Now take your blending stump to smooth out the lines and don't darken the    

Step 16.

First I sprayed the picture with "Krylon Workable Fixatif" to adhere the pencil & pastel to the paper for non-smudging edges of the drawing and a workable surface. You too can give your bird that nice iridescent shine to its feathers. Keep looking at   

Step 17.

Click on this picture to see the difference between the Common Raven and American Crow. Also cut and paste these links to your web browser address to hear how different the crow and raven sounds. CROW (higher cawing sound):   

Step 18.

Click on this picture for a bird's wing anatomy.

Step 19.

Here is an interesting picture of the feather anatomy. The vane of a feather extends from the tip to the downy barbs. The rachis is that middle portion of the feather that extends from the tip to the bottom hollow shaft.

Step 20.

These different feather types explain why the bird's wings can look so different from its belly.

Step 21.

Size difference: The raven is the largest of the crows with a 4 ft. wing span. Like the size of a hawk. The crow has a wing span of 3 ft. about the size of a dove. Crows and ravens also look different in flight. Ravens tend to soar in the air, and so   

Step 22.

Foraging and Other Stuff: Crows don't mind noise, highly populated areas, since they like scavenging seeds, fruits, and vegetables in groups. Ravens are private, hunting alone for insects, fruits, and carrion, so they're more likely to be found in re   

Step 23.

Without highlights, your picture would have a flat appearance. Click on this picture to learn how to make your own picture POP out!

Step 24.

Click on this picture to see how Tone, Shading, Texture, and Reflective Light affects the American Crow, a very intelligent animal! I am closing out now. But you all have been wonderful and it has been a great pleasure to do this tutorial with you. P   

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Artist: catlucker
Date Added: September 3, 2012
Steps: 24
Favorited: 1 (view)
Views: 0 in last hour, 17 in last day, 65 in last week, 99024 total
Comments: 0
Tags: draw birds, how to draw crows
Description: The American Crow is the bird pictured in this tutorial. Smart, big brain, black as night are only a few things this flying animal has up its wing. The name "crow" (Corvidae) stands for the whole family of American Crow, Common Raven, Magpies, Jays, and other birds. For many, the raven and crow are confused. In this tutorial, I'll be pointing out some differences to make them easier to identify while at the same time you can enjoy learning "How to Draw a Realistic Crow.