In this free art lesson, you'll learn how to draw a type of Falcon called an American Kestrel also called a Sparrow Hawk step-by-step.
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All of the tutorials on How2DrawAnimals.com are good drawing tutorials for beginners and experienced artists alike. The online tutorials are easy to follow; they teach you the how to draw basics while showing you how to draw animals step by step. Each animal has a video drawing tutorial option, as well as step-by-step photos and written text to follow.
To draw this Kestrel step by step, follow along with the video tutorial below and pause the video after each step to draw at your own pace. You may find it easier to follow the step-by-step drawings below the video. The new lines in each step are shown in red, so you'll know exactly what to draw next. You may want to open the video in a new tab and use both drawing methods. Take your time and draw at your own pace.
Below you can watch a Narrated step-by-step video tutorial:
For the first few steps, don't press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin so that it's easy to erase if you make a mistake.
Step 1: Draw two circles as guides for the American kestrel's head and the body. To draw each circle, first make four marks to determine the circle's height and width. Then connect the marks using curved lines. Sketch lightly at first so that it's easy to erase if you make a mistake. If you're struggling to draw the circle, just trace the outer rim of a circular object like a coin or a bottle cap. Pay attention to the sizes and placements of the circles. For a more detailed guide on the different ways to draw a circle check out this tutorial: Four simple ways to draw a circle.
Step 2: Inside the head, draw a two intersecting lines that are similar to a plus sign. These are guide lines that will help you place the kestrel's facial features later on. On the left side of the head circle, draw a small, curved line as a guide for the beak. Pay attention to how small this guide is in relation to the head. On the lower, right side of the first circle, draw a big arc as a guide for the bottom half of the body. Pay attention to the position and size of this arc in relation to the circle.
Step 3: Connect the two circles using sloping lines to create the guide for the kestrel's neck. On the lower, right side of the body, draw a long, thin, triangular shape as a guide for the tail. Under the body, draw a short line as a guide for the foot. Add a couple of smaller lines at the bottom as guides for the toes.
That's it for the guidelines! From this point on, press down harder with your pencil for a more defined drawing.
Step 4: Inside the head, on the top, right side, lightly sketch a small circle for the kestrel's eye. When you get the size and position of the eye right, darken the lines. Inside the eye, off to the side draw a tiny circle for a highlight. In the middle of the eye, draw a slightly bigger circle and shade it in for the pupil. Don't overlap the tiny highlight circle as you shade in the pupil. Draw a sloping line above the eye for the thick brow. Add a few small, curved lines around the bird's eye for a bit of the bare skin and corners of the eyes.
Step 5: Use the curved line on the left side as a guide to draw the kestrel's beak. The tip of the shape should curve down to create a pointy tip. The line for the mouth should stretch toward the inside of the head and should be close to the eye. Use short strokes for the feathery base of the beak. Inside the top part of the beak, draw a small circle for the nostril.
Step 6: Use the other shapes and lines as guides to draw the rest of the kestrel's head. Darken the top parts of the guides but make the shape of the head longer than the initial circle. The top line for the head should extend toward the top of the beak. Use a series of short strokes under the beak for a feathery texture.