For the first few steps, don't press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.
Step 1: Draw a circle as a guide for the front part of the swallow's body. The circle doesn't have to be perfect. It's just a guide. Leave enough room at the top and bottom for the wings.
Step 2: Draw an arc on the right side of the circle to finish up the guide for the swallow's body. The end result should be a shape similar to an egg.
Step 3: Draw another circle on the left as a guide for the bird's head. The circle should be about one-third the size of the first one. The edges of the circles should touch.
Step 4: Inside the circle, draw two intersecting lines. These lines will help you place the swallow's features later. Step 5: Draw a small triangle-like shape on the left side of the swallow's head as a guide for the beak.
Step 6: Draw two lines that connect the head and body to form the neck.
Step 7: Draw two curved lines above and below the swallow's body as guides for the first part of the wings. The longer you make the lines, the longer the bird's wings will be. The top line should be shorter because of perspective.
Step 8: Draw two more curved lines for the second part of the guides of the swallow's wings. Simply connect the tip of the wing to the end of the body with a curved line to finish up the guides for the wings.
Step 9: Draw the swallow's tail on the right side of the body using three lines. First draw two horizontal lines, making sure to draw the top line a bit shorter. Then connect the lines at the tip using a third line that curves in toward the body.
That's it for the initial sketch! From this point on, press harder with your pencil to get a more defined sketch.
Step 10: Draw the eye near the middle of the swallow's head using the lines as guides for placement. The shape of the eye is similar to an oval with pointed ends. Draw a tiny circle to represent glare inside the eye. Draw a dot in the middle of the swallow's eye for the pupil and shade in the rest of the eye too. Use a value that's lighter than the pupil when shading the rest of the eye. Draw a few small, curved lines around the bird's eye for extra detail.
Step 11: Use the triangle shape as a guide to draw the swallow's beak. Draw a long line near the middle of the shape that extends toward the head for the mouth opening. Draw a curved line and a circle to the top of the beak for the nostril and a few quick, short strokes to represent the bird's feathers. Draw the bottom part of the beak as a short line close to the mouth.
Step 12: Use the circle and neck lines as guides to draw the rest of the swallow's head. Follow the path of the circle and neck lines toward the body as you darken them. The head should be a little flatter than the original circle.
Step 13: Draw the wings using the curved lines as guides. Darken the guide line on the left side and use small curved lines as you follow the path of the guide on the right side. The small, curved lines on the left don't need to be perfect. Just add them randomly to represent the swallow's feathers. Draw the wing on the bottom using the same technique. Notice that the top left part of this wing overlaps the body unlike the top wing, which is behind the body. Draw the small curved lines on this wing for the feathers, too.
Step 14: Draw a few lines within each wing to represent the detail of the swallow's feathers. First draw two curved rows of quick, short strokes near the left and middle of the wings. Now draw longer lines on the right side of the wings for the longer feathers on the ends. These lines are shorter when they are closer to the body and get longer the farther away from the body they are.
Step 15: Draw the tail on the right side using the initial lines as guides. Darken the lines as you follow the guides. Draw a few lines within the swallow's tail to represent the detail of the bird's feathers. Draw a row of quick, short strokes near the middle, then longer strokes on the right side.
Step 16 (optional): You can stop here for a sketchy look or erase as much as you can of the initial guide lines for a cleaner look. Don't worry about erasing them all. It's okay to leave some behind. Re-draw any final sketch lines that you may have accidentally erased.
Step 17 (optional): Add some shading to your swallow drawing to give it more dimension and volume. Pick the direction of the light source when shading so that the shadows are consistent with it.
Step 18 (optional): You can add more value throughout your swallow drawing for extra detail. Vary the pressure on your pencil to get different degrees of tonal value. Use a lighter value on a few parts of the bird's body to represent the shine of the feathers. Try to shade evenly as you add value for a smooth, even look instead of a rough, gritty texture. Adding the extra value can be very time-consuming, so be patient and take breaks as you draw along. There are different types of swallows, so it's a good idea to use reference to accurately draw the type of swallow you want. And remember to pause the video as you follow along to draw at your own pace.
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