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Uploaded: July 30, 2012
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 10
Updated: July 30, 2012
P.O.V: 3/4
Favourited: 26 times
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Hello once again, guys! I'm back with another tutorial again, but this is going to be a switch up from the more cartoony and vector artwork I've been squeezing out. In this tutorial, I will give you a basic breakdown on 'how to draw an eagle', step by step. I loved working on this tutorial, especially the shading process on the wings. Remember to prepare yourself with a varied softness/hardness graphite penciling kit if you want an outcome presented in the first image. I would also recommend using a kneaded eraser (preferably a Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser) to have a thicker and stable molding power for erasing highlights. I used the Prismacolor Scholar Graphite Pencils which comes with the high quality kneaded eraser. Anyways, hopefully you guys will enjoy this tut! Peace and have a great time :)

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how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird

How to Sketch an Eagle In Pencil, Draw an Eagle Bird

how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 1

STEP 1.

First, let's start by drawing the basic framework for the eagle drawing. Keep the guidelines drawn very LIGHT and sketchy since we'll be erasing this later on. You don't have to draw the guides too accurate, just similar in sizes and shapes will do fine.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 2

STEP 2.

Next, we'll draw the head and beak before we move onto the chest and legs. Take your time, and use light lines until you're satisfied with outcome of the lines; then you may darken the lines just a bit to know you'll be shading inside of them. The legs should have light strokes inwards in order to create a fluffed effect.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 3

STEP 3.

Then, we'll go ahead and draw the talons and toes for the forelegs of the eagle. Keep in mind that the talons are curved and sharp, eagles do not have small talons! Because their feet act as grappling weapons, you'll need to draw them in a similar flow as hands would look.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 4

STEP 4.

So now that you've finished facials and talons. We'll start sketching the beginning of the flight feathers and wing. It's important to use large - curved strokes because these flight feathers are the largest of the wing.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 5

STEP 5.

Then, we'll finish the fore-wing, before we work on the background wing, which again meshes with the background. Notice how the back-wing seems to have shorter feathers because they aren't the base of the focal point and because of perspective. Use tight lines and shapes for the rest of the smaller feathers, try to keep the pattern consistent.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 6

STEP 6.

Lastly, finish off the basic sketch by drawing the tail feathers and the section of the white pattern of the eagle head.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 7

STEP 7.

So now that you've sketched from all the steps presented above. You should have lines similar to these. Mind you that you'll probably have a few sketchy misplaced lines here and there, but this should be pretty lose to the finished destination. The next steps will guide you into the shading tips of this eagle.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 8

STEP 8.

Now, take a 2B pencil and draw over the outer lines with a darker tone, this will evaluate where exactly you have to place the shadows in the correct order. Use the darkest of tones in areas where the shadows will cast (inner leg, 2nd further back wing, underneath the eye). Using an HB2 pencil, lightly shade over the entire drawing. Afterwards, take a cotton swab or Q-Tip and blend in the shadows.
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 9

STEP 9.

Now, take an 8B pencil and start going over the drawing with light sketchy strokes. This should establish a first layer of shadow which will then be blended in with the Q-Tips or cotton swab. Take your time, and leave certain areas open for the lightest of highlights!
 
how to sketch an eagle in pencil, draw an eagle bird step 10

STEP 10.

Now take your kneaded eraser and mold it into a fine point. Later on, we'll go ahead and start erasing away feather detailing in most of the highlight areas. Take your time, and try observe references to see how feathers form on the surface of the body. Half of the head should be the lightest of highlights because it is white. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this lesson! I just had the urge to create a graphite drawing tutorial. Thanks for viewing and have fun!