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Bird Wing Tutorial

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By TheAntimonyElement   |   Watch
Published: January 18, 2010
© 2010 - 2019 TheAntimonyElement
Ta-da! :D Finally! You peeps requested this, like, AGES ago, and here it is! Hope you learn something! :heart: Please don't be scared off by its length, I just talk a lot. ;P

I browsed a bit through dA and I couldn't find a tutorial on bird wings that really covered it ALL--from bones to wing shapes and feather groups. All the tuts I found seemed to assume that you were starting with some basic knowledge of how bird wings worked. I don't know if you are, so here's one that works from the ground up! :)

Yes, this is based off the tutorial style of the incomparable :iconalexds1: (Go read her tutorials on drawing humans; I promise you will learn something!) because I feel that it's a very clear and dynamic way to show people stuff. So yeah.

Other Stuff:
Interesting web sites, if you want to learn more:
[link] --Explore this site some--it has some really cool interactive stuff. Also that game! XD My bobolink always gets eaten halfway through.
[link] --some more in-depth stuff on the physics involved. :)
[link] --lots of info on wing shape and purpose!

Great reference books:
-Birds of Prey: Majestic Masters of the Skies by Paul D. Frost--glorious, two-page spreads full of raptor close-ups. :D My copy is much loved.
-Raptors of the World by James Ferguson-Lees and David A. Christie--what need I say? :heart:
-Reader's Digest Book of North American Birds -- beautifully illustrated, with cool tidbits of information about all the birds.

...and I don't want to hear that you don't have the money to buy books. Libraries need love too, and there is one near you--go get to know it! :D

All photos that are not from Wikipedia were taken by me. The canada goose picture was found here: [link] and the peregrine falcon here: [link] .

Phew. That was rather exhausting (and hopefully exhaustive! :D) so I hope you enjoy and appreciate! Wings are gorgeous; do them justice! :heart: :heart: :heart:

Also: :iconchezem: has a wonderful gallery full of images of birds in flight--go check it out, it's a great reference! :) Thanks to :iconankewehner: for suggesting it.

:EDIT: HOMFG A DD THANK YOU SO MUCH :iconchimeradragonfang: and :iconfantasystock: !!!!!!
Image size
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Comments2649
anonymous's avatar
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DinoGirlJ's avatar
This.
This is a flipping lifesaver, thank you so much.
Zadric1's avatar
this is a really helpful :D
AuttumntheGuardian's avatar
AuttumntheGuardianStudent Artist
You are a hero. The best wing tutoriel i've ever found! Funny, interesting, educational, it's just perfect!
Midday-Mew's avatar
Midday-Mew General Artist
Which category of wings listed in section 2 of this tutorial do scarlet macaw wings fall under?
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
Scarlet macaw wings are short-ish and broad, because they have to navigate through dense jungle when the fly. :) 
Midday-Mew's avatar
Midday-Mew General Artist
Thanks! ^^
Pushdug's avatar
PushdugHobbyist General Artist
I found this tutorial years ago, when I first joined dA. I keep going back to it year after year, because it's so darn good. Informative, correct, easy to understand, full of good tips and tricks. Thank you for making it! :heart:
BrokenFin369's avatar
BrokenFin369Professional Traditional Artist
Oh my gosh you don't know how much this helps. I'm on a quest to correctly draw angel wings.
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear it! 
pokemonsonicgirl123's avatar
pokemonsonicgirl123Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful. I've only drawn an avian, but I can definitely use this for ref.
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
I'm glad! :) 
NinjaSquid42's avatar
NinjaSquid42Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a really nice and informative post! Thanks for making this, I'm going to use it to help draw my bird OCs from now on!
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
Excellent! :) 
FireHeartDraws's avatar
FireHeartDrawsHobbyist Digital Artist
Thankyou so much for this tutorial. :D  
Wings are my favorite anatomy to draw, but also one of the hardest.  this will really help me. ^^
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
I'm glad to hear it! :) 
A-Bright-Idea's avatar
A-Bright-IdeaHobbyist Filmographer
thanks for sharing this with me! :D
FireHeartDraws's avatar
FireHeartDrawsHobbyist Digital Artist
You are most welcome. this is the best wing tutorial I have ever seen. ^^
Only down side is that I cant seem to get it to zoom in properly when looking at it outside of this Deviant page.   But at least we got access to it here. ^^

Speaking of which, here ya go :iconhelmie-d:  You may find use of this too. XD
Helmie-D's avatar
Helmie-DHobbyist General Artist
This is the best tutorial indeed. I read it through a few times, there's so many thing to pay attention to! Practice is key here, for all of us ^^
FairestMoss's avatar
I realize this is ages old, but... Seriously, thank you so much for this. It's such a pain in the ass to get everything to fully make sense in my head, and not only is this wonderful information but the added humor in it makes it a lot easier to keep going.

The one thing I'd argue you didn't really add in here is the full range of "shoulder" movement.
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
I'm glad to hear it was helpful for you! 

Honestly, this is so old now, I might make an updated version at some point... ^^; 
FairestMoss's avatar
Haha, I was wondering a bit about that when I saw the date. ^^ If you ever do, I'd love to know about it!
W0lfpup's avatar
W0lfpupHobbyist Digital Artist
this was made 7 years ago but its soooo helpful 
TheAntimonyElement's avatar
TheAntimonyElementHobbyist General Artist
:heart: 
AngelicDragonPuppy's avatar
AngelicDragonPuppyHobbyist General Artist
This is incredibly helpful and I thank you for making it. I feel like such a goober for never noticing the front wing / back wing differences before!
anonymous's avatar
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