In this guide, we will learn how to draw a flamingo in only 4 easy steps. Drawing animals or anything with organic shapes can be a little daunting but if you follow these following steps you will be able to draw your own flamingo illustration.
Before we start with the actual guide I should mention, that the pictures in this guide are drawn traditionally but they have been enhanced digitally so that you can see the lines better.
So if your drawing is not looking exactly like mine or if your lines are not that clean, then don´t be discouraged. To be able to draw lines smoothly just takes a little practice.
Tools You Need
I will only recommend some tools but you are absolutely free to choose the tools you like best. So you are in no way bound to use the exact same tools, that I have used.
I usually use a graphite pen for the underdrawing and for the guidelines.
I would recommend a graphite pencil between HB and 6B. The most important thing is, that the pencil can be erased later on.
Any regular eraser will do the trick but I would recommend a kneadable eraser.
The main reason why I recommend a kneadable eraser is because you can soften your lines easier and you don´t damage your paper erasing with a kneadable eraser.
A regular eraser will do but you may damage your paper if you are not careful.
Marker or Brushpen
I only used a black marker with a 0.5 mm and one with a 2.5 mm tip for the outlines.
You can use any black marker you want as long as it is waterproof and as long as it doesn´t bleed on your paper.
I used a regular Farber Castel marker. But you could also use a brush pen if you want to.
You can use any paper you want but make sure that the paper is right for your kind of paint.
If you are using acrylic paint or watercolor for coloring your drawing, for example, you should use paper, that can absorb water correctly like an illustration board or heavier sketching paper.
I used the latter and it turned out nicely.
I used watercolor for coloring this specific drawing but you can use whatever kind of paint you like.
You could use acrylic paint, markers like Copic markers, or colored pencils.
You can download a worksheet of this drawing so that you can trace the lines, that I drew to learn how to draw a flamingo faster if you want to.
Just enter your e-mail address and you will instantly be redirected to a download page, where you can download all the drawing worksheets, that you want.
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Let´s Draw a Flamingo
So, now that you have covered what kind of tools you need we can finally get to actually drawing a flamingo now.
Before we get to the first step though there are some tips, that I want to give you on your way, that may help you drawing this Bird.
First off in this drawing there are a lot of very organic and curved lines that can be hard to draw sometimes. So when you are drawing these lines, like the neck, for example, keep your lines light in the beginning and try to draw the lines from your shoulder and not from your wrist.
Secondly, don´t put too much detail into the drawing. What I mean by that is, don´t try to draw every feather individually. Instead, you can simply hint at the texture of the feathers in the form of the outlines and by adding some details on the back of the bird.
And lastly, don´t try to make the whole drawing perfect. Relax and just draw. You don´t have to copy each of my lines perfectly it´s enough when you relax and just enjoy the process of drawing. Your drawing will turn out so much better if you don´t stress out about it.
Step 1: Drawing The Basic Shape of The Body of The Flamingo.
We are going to start with a simple ellipse that is going to be the base for the body of the flamingo.
The ellipse should be slightly elongated and slightly tilted horizontally.
Draw all the following lines with your pencil, because you will erase them later on.
Now add a well curved s-shaped line to the left side of the ellipse. This is going to be the neck of our flamingo.
Then add another line parallel to the first s-shaped line. But make sure that the lower part is a little thicker and the top part of the neck is tapering down and becoming thinner.
And finally, add a second elongated ellipse as a guide for the head.
And we have drawn the general shape of the flamingo!
Step 2: Defining The Shape of The Flamingo
in this step, we will define the form of the flamingo a little bit by adding some distinct forms to help us easier identifying the form of the flamingo.
We are going to start by adding the beak of the flamingo. It is just a simple banana shape.
Then we are going to define the shape of the body a little further by adding a rounded triangular shape on the right side of the body.
This shape will, later on, be a little more defined to show that these are feathers.
Next, we will add the legs of the flamingo.
Flamingos like to only stand on one leg and they very often just hold the other leg in a relaxed pose.
So we will replicate this to further convey, that this bird is indeed a flamingo.
Now add the lower part of the legs and connect them with a circle-like shape.
And then we will just add the feet.
The feet have a very distinct shape. I drew the top one by drawing a line, that is curved down.
Then I made two points between the origin and the end of the curved line and connected them with c-shaped lines.
I drew the other foot similar only that I started out with a straight line and then I drew another straight line that goes a little further down and then I just connected them with a very steep c-shaped line.
And we are done with the general shape of the Flamingo. Now let’s get to drawing the outlines and details.
Step 3: Drawing the outlines
At first I will lighten up all the lines, that I drew so far with the kneadable eraser.
Then I used my marker to define the outline of the flamingo and I added some details.
I started with a fluent line that starts at the neck of the flamingo and ends at its back by curving slightly up.
then I added some detailed lines to give the illusion of feathers. Don´t make these lines too thin and close together or the feather texture will look too small and it wouldn´t fit the flamingo right.
On the lower part of the body, we will add similar lines but we will change it up with some lines, that follow the form of the body more closely. This will ensure, that we don´t lose the general shape of our flamingo.
Now add the smooth s-shaped lines for the neck and the rounded lines for the head.
The feathers on this part of the bird are very tiny and they don´t impact the outline at all. So we can draw smooth lines here instead of trying to show some texture in our silhouette.
We will also start adding some detail in the beak, like the rounded form where the eyes will going to be later on.
Continue drawing and defining the lines until you have established the details in the full drawing and then just erase our pencil marks, as we don´t need them anymore.
Step 4: Coloring our Drawing
Prepare your medium that you want to color your drawing with and then chose your first color.
I used watercolors for this one but if you want to color your drawings with colored pencils then you can refer to my guide on drawing fire where I show a similar coloring approach but with colored pencils.
I chose a light pink color to fill in the body of the flamingo. I kept the lower part of the body and the neck in a very light pink color because I will add some more colors in these areas later on.
Next up I chose a darker purple color and a very dark purple color for the beak.
I filled in the form of the beak wich the very dark color and then I used the darker purple color to add a little shadow to the lower part of the body of the flamingo and to its neck.
The light in this drawing is coming from the top. If you want to learn more about light and shadow then you can have a look at my guide on drawing a realistic tree where I show how to draw shadow and light shapes correctly.
Finally, I used a color somewhere between the dark purple color and the dark one to color in the feet of the flamingo.
And with this, we are done!
We now have successfully drawn a flamingo.
Here is the final colored Drawing.
If you have any questions then you can leave me a comment or you can write me an e-mail if you want to.
I will give my best to answer you as soon as I can.