Feathered Friends: A Beginner's Guide to Drawing Wings | Krissy Ewins | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Feathered Friends: A Beginner's Guide to Drawing Wings

teacher avatar Krissy Ewins, Illustrator & Etsy Seller

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. A Useful Tip

    • 4. Lesson One: Basic Wing Structure

    • 5. Lesson Two: Simplifying the Structure

    • 6. Lesson Three: Adding the Feathers

    • 7. Bonus Tips: Colouring

    • 8. Closing Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

When starting out, wings can seem really intimidating to draw. I know I certainly felt that way!

This class will show you techniques to break down and simplify the structure and anatomy of wings. Afterwards you'll be able to confidently apply these techniques when drawings birds, angels, dragons or whatever fantastic creature you can imagine!

All you'll need is your favourite digital drawing app or even just a pencil and some paper! This class is suitable for beginners or even intermediate artists who want to try out a new technique.



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Krissy Ewins

Illustrator & Etsy Seller


Hi there! Thanks for checking out my classes :) 

If you’d like to see more of my work and be notified for future classes you can find me in these places:

Etsy | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hey everyone. In this class, I'll be teaching you how to understand and confidently draw wings will go over the structures avoiding and how to simplify them for drawing. At the end, I'll also be sharing some quick coloring tips along with some of my favorite brushes to use. I'm Chrissy and I'm an illustrator based in Northern Ireland. Birds are one of my favorite things to draw. So I hope we can pass some of my enthusiasm onto you to make them a little less intimidating and give you a starting point to draw them even more. This class is suitable for beginners or just anyone who wants to try out a new drawing technique. By the end of it, you'll have at least two finished wing drawings and the building blocks for how to apply these techniques to your own illustrations. 2. Class Project: Okay, before we get started, I'm going to quickly go over the project for this class. For it will be creating to finished wing drawings based on two different birds. You'll be able to work on this alongside lessons to apply what you've learned. The reason we'll be looking at different birds. And so we can get a better understanding of the ways the wings can differ between species. If you're intending on using the skills we're drawing fantasy creatures, it means you'll be able to add a lot more character and personality to your designs. Before starting the main lessons that will help to think of at least two of your favorite birds. Then Jefferson photo references of their wings to use for your project. Or if you prefer, i'll have a link to my Pinterest board I've made for this class. So you can use the same references of me as you follow along. 3. A Useful Tip: So to begin, I'm going to share my quick trick that he used to start everyone that I draw. In my experience, I find that helpful way to think of starting a wing is by thinking of it like a human arm. So you'll have an elbow and wrist. And this will run along the top of the wing. The size of placement of the lines of the six eig will differ depending on the bird. So that's why it's really helpful to look at your references. To practice this, take your references and draw our this exact goes. If it helps, you can also mark where the elbow and wrist are. In the next lesson, we'll be taking a deeper look at the anatomy of a wing. So when you feel comfortable with this step, go right ahead and move on to the next video. 4. Lesson One: Basic Wing Structure: In this lesson, before I show you how to simplify the wing structure and going to give you a quick overview of what the average bird's wing looks like. Ok, so don't worry too much by memorizing names of all these parts. This is just to give you a rough idea of what to look for when you're drawing it. The other half of the wing has the primary February's. The inner half has a secondaries. These are the largest favors and are very distinct. A lot of the time these are divided by the rest, but I'll get into that more in the next lesson. On top of those are then the coverts. These are smaller, Febreze into primaries. And as they get closer to the top, they get softer and are less distinct from each other. The top part of a coverts are called the marginal coverts. These last ones aren't always visible on every bird, but sometimes you'll have some extra favors here at the end of the top of the wing. This part is called the Lula. These fibers are normally visible on the top side of the wing and not on the bottom side. Although sometimes these can appear to be absent altogether. So always double-check your reference depending on how realistic you want to be with your drawing. Okay, that's all we're going to cover in this lesson. For the next one, you'll need your references and Japan as together, we are going to be simplifying this. 5. Lesson Two: Simplifying the Structure: In the previous lesson, we learned the basic structures of a wing. So in this one, we're going to break it all down. So you can use as an outline to draw with. First, you're going to use the trick we learned earlier to draw your arm zigzag. For the next step, we're going to add a line. Here. Sometimes a position varies, but on the majority of wings in primaries and secondaries have a dividing line that comes out of the rest. We then can use this line to draw the bottom edge of the wing. First, a curved line for the primaries, then the inner line for the secondaries. Next, we can add the coverts on the inner part of the wing. These often end roughly about halfway down this section. On the outer part. These normally start at the same point, then curve at a steeper angle. Finally, we can mark where the marginal coverts go. So now we're going to apply the same technique to mark the structure of this part. So zigzag, the risk line, the wing edge, the coverts, and the marginal coverts. Before you move on to the next video, practice tracing of your wing references until you feel confident when you've mastered that, try drawing the wing structure with a reference. In the next lesson, we're going to be covering how to other favors and the final details. 6. Lesson Three: Adding the Feathers: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to add in the favors. To follow along, take your favorite reference and guidelines from the previous lesson and use them for the base. Or feel free to challenge yourself and draw a set of guidelines of a reference. In each section, the fabric all tend to curve in the same direction. So on this wing and this section, they are all slightly curved this way. In this section, the curve the other way. This is important because the key to stop your wings from looking stuff and fake is using curved lines rather than straight ones. Now that we know this, we can go ahead and draw in lines for the fibers are going to go. If you want to be really realistic, you can count the amount of them in each section. But for simplicity, we're just going to roughly sketch in the fabric curves. For the marginal coverts. We can just hint at their edges with several C curves. In real life, these are finer fluffier feathers that aren't as distinctive as the larger primaries down here. Now we can add in the edges of the Faber's. This is a good point to pay close attention to your reference because sometimes these are very distinct and sometimes the edges are very smooth. In this case, I find it best to start from the outside. Fibers harvest from the body and work my way in. When you're finished, you can even erased any extra lines to tidy your drawing up. Or you can lower the capacity and create some clean liner on the layer on top of it. Whatever your personal preferences. If you've been following along. This lesson marks the end of the class project. The next video is optional, but I'll be sharing some of my tips right in colleges sketch. So it's worth sticking around for a little extra life to creation. 7. Bonus Tips: Colouring : In this bonus lesson, I'm going to share a few techniques that are used to color wings and my usual stone procreate. I'll be sharing some of my favorite brushes, Gs two. So to start off, lower the capacity of your drawing. She's a color from around this area of your color picker. And add in the base colors on a layer underneath your lines with this brush. I like having a painterly look to my art. So that's why I use this one for the basis. Next, you can start to address shadows. You can use a multiplier for this if you want. I like to use a darker saturated red color. Keep the original guideline structures we learned in mind for the shading. I like to use these two brushes for the stage. This one for large soft shadows, and this one for the smaller details. For the marginal coverts to worry too much about defining each of the feathers. Like for the original drawing, we can just hint out there, we've see curves. When you're happy if you're shading, clean up the edges with an eraser. I like using this brush for it. If you were targeting the earlier stages, you have to do this. I literally just do it this way because I find it really fun. Final step. And this last part, if you'd like, you can also change the color of the sketch lines. And there you have it finished and painted wing. 8. Closing Thoughts: If you're this far well done, you've made it to the end. I hope you now have a better understanding of why the drawings. If you have any extra questions, please go ahead and ask and I'll be sure to do my best to help. So to recap the main points in this class, we've learned to think of the wing-like human arm when you're starting your drawing. Then we've learned the main structures of the wing and how the simplify them for drawing. We learned about where to place the primaries, the secondaries, and coverts. And then how do you think about the direction of the curves of favors and each of these sections, as well as that, I also shared a few coloring tips for if you want to take your drawing and never step of Harvard. If you've followed along with the class project, please feel free to share your work in class Gallery to get some feedback. I'd love to see it.