How to draw Angry Birds
The Angriest of Art Subjects
Angry Birds has reached incredible heights of popularity despite starting out as a mere web game, and part of its fame is no doubt due to the colourful characters. The birds themselves are an odd-looking crew, and great subjects for fan pictures. Despite how simple they look, however, the Angry Birds can be a little daunting to convert from concept to art piece. How's it done?
Below is a step-by-step guide for drawing your own Angry Bird. Read, study the sample images carefully, and have fun.
Before you draw anything for the first time, you need a few items:
- Drawing material. This could be a computer with a drawing tablet attached, this could be a pad of paper and a pencil. It's easier to get rid of sketchy practice lines on a computer using layers, though the old fashioned method works just as well so long as you have a white eraser on hand.
- References. The Angry Birds are simple characters, but it's surprisingly easy to forget key components without something to look at. Type 'Angry Birds' into Google's image search to find a ton of reference pictures.
- Patience. Newcomers to the art world, take heed: you must build your skills over time. If your first drawing doesn't work, try again. If that doesn't work, try again. Keep going until it looks the way you want it to look.
Ready? Then let's draw Red Bird, the series mascot. The images below feature thick lines for clarity's sake; if you're drawing Red Bird on your own, you might want to try thinner lines when you get to the good copy.
The Angry Birds all have one thing in common: their bodies are based on a simple geometric shape. Red Bird's body is a rough circle that tends more towards blobbishness, making him a perfect choice for artists with unsteady hands.
Start by drawing a rough, egg-shaped circle. Red Bird's head tapers off slightly near the top, though only slightly. Don't worry about neatness at this stage, just sketch out the shape.
Every good bird needs feathers, and Red Bird's are at the top of his head. Draw two ovals, one slightly lower and smaller than the other, at the top of Red Bird's skull. You can use these feathers to determine which way Red Bird is facing in the picture, as they're always pointed in the opposite direction of his eyes.
Red Bird sports some wicked brows that are little more than a thick V-shape. If it helps, picture them instead as two rectangles meeting at the center.
The placement of the eyebrows is important as they determine where the rest of Red Bird's face will go. If you're uncertain about placement, draw line guides down the center of his body and stick the eyebrows in the middle of the vertical guide. Assuming this is a heads-on picture, Red Bird's eyebrows should be about halfway up his face.
Red Bird's eyes are two circles tucked at the center of his eyebrows, connected by a line that's located at the same place the eyebrows meet. The tops of the whites of his eyes should be covered by the bottom of the eyebrows. His pupils are relatively large, though there should be plenty of white space between them and the edge of the eyes unless Red Bird is looking off to the side.
Red Bird's beak is much sharper than the rest of his body. Begin by drawing a triangle, then extend the top half of the triangle's tip. Draw a line down the center of the beak to create a separation between the top and bottom. Add teeth by including a small curved line underneath this central line.
Red Bird's belly looks odd without proper placement. The belly line meets his beak just slightly above the center divide, then slopes downward and vanishes before meeting the far edge of his body.
Red Bird's tail feathers are similar to his eyebrows, though they widen as they go further out. Draw three thin triangles extending from his backside, all meeting at the same point.
Once you have Red Bird's body roughed out, it's time to give it some definition. If you're using a graphics program like Photoshop or GIMP, create a new layer and carefully outline the rough lines you've drawn so far. Add perspective by ignoring lines that overlap with one another. Do the same with traditional media, erasing unwieldy practice lines as you go along.
Red Bird isn't Red Bird without some colour. His colour palette is quite simple, and if you have a photo editing program you can copy this picture into your program and use the eyedropper tool to get the colours you need. If you're using markers or coloured pencils, look for rough equivalents when it comes time to shade. A black-and-white Red Bird can also look really nice with proper hatching and cross-hatching.
The Other Birds
Though they all look different, the Angry Birds are quite similar to one another in that they all feature the same basic components: a blobby geometric shape, circular eyes, sharp beaks and smatterings of feathers. Follow the same guidelines when trying out other birds for good results.
Once you're used to drawing the Angry Birds from a standard perspective, change up your viewpoint and draw them from above or below. They're excellent studies for beginners to perspective, as their features are plain and their bodies don't change much regardless of how you're looking at them. Adjust the sizes and placement of your bird's anatomy to achieve any number of shots, omitting any body parts that would be covered from a particular angle.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to drop me a line!