Fairy wings are attached at the middle of the shoulder blades. If you feel around on your back, you’ll be able to feel your shoulder blades. You can even look in a mirror if you really want to see what they look like. It’s very important that they are placed in the correct spot, because if they are any higher, fairies wouldn’t be able to fly without their wings hitting them on the head or messing up their hair.
Now, we need to talk about translucency and opacity. Translucency just means that you can see through something, like colored glass. A lot of fairy wings are translucent, such as Tinkerbell’s wings. The top set of wings is translucent. I like how detailed those wings look, even though the design of the wings is very simple. If you decide to make your wings translucent, stick with a design without many details. Opaque wings are not see-through. They are solid. If you choose to make opaque wings, you can really get detailed with the design of the wings. Decide which kind of wings is your favorite before you start drawing.
These are some simple wing designs to give you some inspiration. Most fairy wings are inspired by real wings found in nature. These are based off of butterflies, moths, and dragonflies. If you are going to be making translucent wings, these could be all you need, and you can skip forward to drawing the fairies themselves.
If you want to make detailed opaque (not see-through) wings, stick with me for a while. I’m going to show you some ideas for detailed wings. Make note of the ones you like. Keep their letters in your head so you'll know which tutorial to follow later on. :) These are top wings. In most fairies, there are two different parts to their wings. There’s the top part and the bottom part. You can choose to only have top wings or only have bottom wings, though. It just depends on what you like.
These are some bottom wings. I think they’re the most expressive part of a fairy’s wings. They can be very detailed or very simple. They can also have “tails” which hang down and look very elegant.
Something else to think about is overlapping. Wings have a top and a bottom, but sometimes the bottom can cover the top wing. I have colored the top and the bottom different colors to show you the huge difference that overlapping makes. This is another reason why detailed translucent wings don’t work. If you could see both the top wing and the bottom wing, the middle part of your wings would be a jumbled mess.
Can I ask you a simple question? Which of these fairies is good, and which is evil? If you said the top fairy is evil, you’re right. Wings have a lot of power to show a fairies' personality. Wings with smooth, flowing edges are often seen as good, while jagged, sharp edges are seen as evil.
Time to start drawing. Make sure to use a pencil for our guidelines! Find which sets of wings you like and match their letter to the letters you see here. If you cant find your letter, look lower! Draw the basic shapes together as you see here.
Now, it’s time to draw your outlines! Use those basic shapes as a guide for your pencil. It’s ok if they aren’t exactly as you see here, but keep in mind that you will be adding a lot more detail later! Pay close attention to how curvy or pointy the edges are.
Now that you’ve got your outlines, erase your guides. If you leave them in, it will be hard to do the details. Start off here with the “eyes” of the wings. Try to match the location of the eyes with where they are in the wing.
Now here’s some stripes for your “eyes.” Watch the way they curve and draw carefully!
It gets tricker as the wings get more detailed, don't give up! It’s ok to erase if you think you might have accidentally made a mistake, just remember to redo that spot later.
You’re done! With the top wings part, anyway. You can use this pair as a guide for your fairy if you want them to be flying. You can also use them if you want to show your fairy just standing. I will show you how to do both in the fairy tutorials. Dont ink your wings yet!
Start with your guidelines. Try to recreate these shapes on your paper. It's ok if they aren't perfect. That's what an eraser is for, and the more you practice, the better you will become!
Now for your outlines, use your guidelines to guide you. That's why they call them guidelines! :) Pay really close attention to the way the curves are shaped.
Now it's details time! When you're starting on details, everything is a lot easier if you start with the easiest part. These lines are going to influence the placement of the rest of your lines, so try to be as accurate as possible. Notice which parts of the wings branch off and which don't. Look for curves. Look for straight lines.
More details! Hang in there! look very closely at each of the curves inside each wing. Try to use the curves you have already put in your wings as a guide. They all relate to each other, and can show you how to draw something if you pay attention to what looks good as a whole.
Congratulations, now your bottom wings are done! You can choose to keep these as a guideline or you can put a fairy on top of or behind them. I will show you how to do each.
Back to our guidelines! These are just simple shapes that will make the next step easier. They dont have to overlap perfectly or even look amazing, just as long as they serve as a general guide. Try to get them the correct distances away from each other.
Now, it's time for your outlines! They might look intimidating, but as long as you pay attention to your guidelines, they will take shape nicely! Look for curved edges and try to follow them as closely as you can.
Now that your outlines are all pretty looking, erase your guidelines. You dont need them anymore, they will only hold you back and confuse you when its time to work on the details. The crinkly designs on the inside of each wing need to be followed pretty closely, because a lot of the more detailed lines are going to need a place that makes sense to be attached to.
Now draw in your "eyes," and the lines that come with them. That first line is going to help you a lot when it comes to drawing the rest of the lines.
This is when it's going to start getting pretty tricky if you're working on set G or H. Dont give up! In this first part, use mostly straight lines to connect your "eye" to the parts of the wing that jut up at the bottom.
This is the last step! Hang in there! Now, you draw some curvy lines. They should intersect and look kind of like veins, or tree branches.
Congrats! You made it through all of those details, and now have some gorgeous fairy wings. Now stay tuned while I show you how to put a fairy on them! :) Look for a link to Part 2 in the comments!
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