How to Draw Wings

Artist: KingTutorial / June 7, 2011

Step 1.

Welcome to my "How to Draw Wings" tutorial. Let's start by taking a look at some basic wings from a bird and a bat. These are probably the two most common wings out there. They can be found on countless real and mythical creatures, as well as fantasy   

Step 2.

Before you even begin to draw wings on a creature, you have to figure out how they'll attach. For birds or bats, the wings are actually their forelimbs, in place of legs or arms. For angels, demons or other creatures that have wings in addition to fo   

Step 3.

Wing placement isn't always limited to the shoulder blades, though. Depending on the subject matter, you can place wings *almost* anywhere, so long as it makes some sort of sense. A character could wear wings on their helmet or armor. They might even   

Step 4.

Insect wings are quite a bit different than bird or bat wings. Do some research. Look at photos. Go outside and look at real, living creatures. Once you start to really understand how different types of wings work, you'll be able to visualize the ana   

Step 5.

Something else you might want to try is designing wings with atypical construction and materials, such as plants, coral or even rock. It might not make sense with standard physics, but with a little imagination, I suppose anything's possible ;) Here    

Step 6.

Now let's take a closer look at constructing wings. We'll start with feathered bird wings. To begin, draw the three anatomical sections of the bird's forelimb. I want to just say "Draw a chicken wing!" You know, like fried chicken. That's literally w   

Step 7.

Next we want to lay out three rows, where the feathers will be. I used to only draw cartoon wings with cloud-like feathers, so learning the proper placement of feathers has been a challenge for me. The feathers closer to the bone are shorter, and tho   

Step 8.

Either lightly erase the underdrawing or use an overlay to draw the finished line art. This is going to be a slightly more fantasy wing, so we'll start out by detailing the fleshy appendage of our friend, here. I used repetition of shapes in various    

Step 9.

Now for the first row of feathers. This bunch is made from oodles of tiny feathers, clumped together in a poofy, fluffy... I forgot the word I was going to use. *shakes head* Anyway, rather than draw every feather, we'll simplify by only drawing the    

Step 10.

Use simple strokes to draw the tips on the middle row of feathers. They remind me of the blade on a butter knife. Remember the Japanese folding fan (the wooden kind). Draw long curves from the inside of the wing outward to define the separation betwe   

Step 11.

For the final step, use short dashes to indicate the fibers on some of the feathers. Again, there's no need to draw each one. Just indicate. Fluff out the smallest row with a few extra feathers here and there. Add some more scratches and bumps to the   

Step 12.

The finished pair of wings.

Step 13.

Now let's tackle drawing some bat wings. These could also be dragon wings if you wish. The basic concept is that bat wings are big hands with long, skinny fingers, and webbed skin inbetween. To start, we basically want to draw an arm. Here I added an   

Step 14.

Next draw the remaining digits of the "fingers." Each finger comes to a point at the end. These will become claws when we add detail later. Note how the first finger is much shorter than the rest. Interesting...

Step 15.

This is the fun part, where the wing finally takes shape. After adding some details to the arm, use large curves to draw the skin between each finger. Leave some room at the end of each finger for the claws.

Step 16.

Here's where we can add all the optional detail we want. I really wanted to add some veins in the webbed skin, so that was the first thing I did. In general, you want to remember to add straight wrinkles to show where the skin is folded (toward the p   

Step 17.

The finished bat wings. I added some extra mini-wings just for fun.

Step 18.

Our last wing for this tutorial will be a fantasy wing with insectoid features. The basic shape will be similar to the bird wing from earlier. First we need to draw the structure of the "arm."

Step 19.

Next add a row of blade-like shapes. These will actually be armor plates, but will mimic the look of feathers.

Step 20.

Here we draw the blades that make up the wing itself. We want these to look like feathers for now, but they'll be transformed when we add details.

Step 21.

To bulk out the "arm," first draw some armored plates stack on the "knuckle" "elbow" joint. Then draw curved lines flowing down the shape to its base. Use overlapping folds and wrinkles to give this shape a sense of dimension.

Step 22.

Outline the armored "feathers" and draw ornamental swirls to break up the blank spaces in the drawing. These designs can blend into the wrinkles of the arm.

Step 23.

Now we'll detail the "finger" shape. I wanted this part to feel more fleshy and organic, as opposed to the armor on the rest of the arm. This isn't much more than a gnarled mess of folds and wrinkles, but notice how the tip hooks inward. This will ho   

Step 24.

Finally we outline the individual blades of the wing and add details within each of them. Starting on the largest blade, break up the shape with long curves. Then cut across the grain to form rounded, rectangular "cells." Although we're not outlining   

Step 25.

The finished insect wings. I doubled the wings so they can support a massive creature. I guess that wraps up this tutorial! I had a lot of fun working on this. Check out the colors in the preview image up at the top, and be sure to post your drawings   

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Artist: KingTutorial
Date Added: June 7, 2011
Steps: 25
Favorited: 2 (view)
Views: 0 in last hour, 4 in last day, 54 in last week, 79489 total
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Tags: how to draw wings
Description: Exploring various types of wings, starting with the basics and ending with complex structures. You'll be learning "<em><strong>how to draw dragon wings</em></strong>", bird wings and cool insect styled wings. Dig into this tutorial and learn a few techniques on how easy it can be drawing them.