How to Draw an Aztec Bird

Written by verity jones
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How to Draw an Aztec Bird
Dead warriors transformed into hummingbirds in Aztec mythology. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

One of the most significant Aztec birds is the hummingbird, which represents the God Huitzilopochtli. In Central America, Huitzilopochtli is believed to have led the Aztecs to a new homeland and defended the territory. When he died, he then turned into a green-backed hummingbird. Drawing this symbol is therefore of great importance because of what it represents. Aztec artwork is quite simplistic and colourful, so use a series of shapes to create the shape of the hummingbird.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils

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  1. 1

    Create the shape of the hummingbird's body by sketching a small rectangle shape on your paper with the pencil. Angle it slightly so that right hand corner of the rectangle points upwards.

  2. 2

    Add an elongated triangle to the bottom left side of the hummingbird's body. It should point to the left, tapering to a thin point to represent the bird's tail.

  3. 3

    Draw a small circle on the right hand side of the rectangle, at the point where it angles upwards. Then, draw a long, thin line protruding from it as a guideline for the bird's beak.

  4. 4

    Illustrate the hummingbird's wings. Each wing is approximately the same size as the hummingbird's body but in the shape of a triangle, rather than a rectangle. Add wings by drawing two triangles protruding from the top of the bird's body. Angle the wing's to the left and make sure they overlap.

  5. 5

    Connect the shapes together to create a fluid outline of the hummingbird. The bird does not have sharp corners nor made of perfectly straight lines, so use your pencil to curve around the shapes and create smooth contours.

  6. 6

    Detail the bird's wings. Aztec drawings are quite simplistic and do not need to be realistic. Simple add a few parallel, horizontal lines along each wing. Remember to keep the lines slightly curved.

  7. 7

    Sketch a small circle for the bird's eye inside the circle that represents the bird's head. Add feather details on the underside of the hummingbird's body by drawing a series of small semi circles, almost like scales.

  8. 8

    Complete the Aztec bird drawing by colouring in the hummingbird using bright colours. Shade the beak in red, add green along the bird's back and create a patchwork of greys and blacks for its feathers. Add a flash of bright blue across its underbelly.

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