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Drawing Birds
BY Andrew Forkner

Search Press
1 May 2018/ ISBN 9781782214922
How-To Books/Art

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


If you have ever wanted to capture the beauty and grace of birds in pencil, then this book will get you started. Mr. Forkner has also produced a book on painting bird portraits in acrylics, but this time he takes a look at working just with graphite pencils for a monochrome look.

You won’t need to purchase much to produce any of the projects in here, just the materials associated with graphite pencil work. A detailed list of these is given, together with tips on what to buy and why you need it.

After a very brief look at the history of the bird in art, there is a chapter on getting set up, including how to set up your work area, assembling reference material, transferring layout sketches to drawing paper and more. In order to draw birds and make them look lifelike, it is necessary to understand their anatomy, and there is a useful chapter on bird features with exercises and diagrams. Draw feathers, wings, eyes, beaks and feet and take a look at how birds look in flight.

The project part of the book is divided into bird groups, each of which shows some drawings of relevant birds with drawing tips and a project. This is shown in captioned stages, not photographs but actual drawings, showing how the picture is built up. Each project comes with a traceable outline, so you can get started on the details without worrying about getting the sketch right. Choose from a moorhen, Canada geese, puffin, lanner falcon, snowy owl, goldfinch and partridge. Even a drawing beginner will be able to get plenty out of this book, with its clear, well worded instructions and clear diagrams. This primer is worth obtaining for anybody of any level who wants to draw birds.

Reviews of other titles by this author

A-Z of Bird Portraits
Drawing Birds

If you cannot find a good range of drawing materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018