How to Draw a Robin Step-by-step

Updated November 21, 2016

There are a number of reasons for someone to draw a robin. The illustration may help teach a child about the anatomy of the bird or identify the species if someone is planning a birdwatching excursion. Robins can be many sizes and coloured in a variety of ways. Drawing a robin is not difficult, but you will have to set some time aside for the task.

Draw a circle to represent the robin's head and add guidelines for where you later plan to draw the face and beak. Draw a contoured neck line and attach it to a second circle shape that will later represent the chest and torso of the bird. Draw the shape of an anchor to represent the back end of the robin. Add lines to represent limbs and the tail line.

Draw out the shape of the head and beak. Add definition and detail to the bill. Draw the bill so that it is slightly curved downward. Draw out the small circular shaped eye and colour in the pupil with a black coloured pencil. Draw the circle around the eye with a heavy black line to separate it from the rest of the bird's head. Add detailing under the beak in the form of a small patch of feathers that will be lighter in colour than the rest of the robin's head.

Sketch the shape and style of the robin's wing. Draw each wing feather a different length to add texture. Use sweeping lines to show the placement of various feathers on the wing. Shade the wing so it appears lighter on the bottom than on top. Fade your shading downward on the wing. Draw the feathery marking ring line around the robin's neck and add shading and colour to the ring to indicate that it is soft and a different colour than the rest of the robin's head.

Sketch the rest of the chest and belly. Make the chest appear to puff out a bit by drawing it bulging slightly. Draw the belly to be appear full and rounded. Work that same lining into the robin's thighs and back end. Focus your shading to indicate the separate parts of the bird. Sketch out the shape and style of the tail and add feathers of different lengths to the tail. Draw longer feathers at the top of the tail and shorter feathers as the tail moves downward. Shade the tail feathers so that they are slightly darker at the top and lighter as they move down. Draw two bird legs that are contoured and bent slightly backward. Draw the lines extra dark and add lighter shading inside the lines. Draw the small lines of the talons of the bird to indicate that they are bent around a branch.

Draw out the tree branch to add a sense of nature. Make the branch thicker at the base and thin it out as it moves to the point where the bird will stand on it. Add detailing and definition to the branch. Include lines to indicate bark and draw small leaves. Shade the branch darker at the top and lighter towards the bottom to make it appear more realistic. Draw the robin's feet clutched around the branch. Erase the guidelines and shapes that you drew in Step 1.

Colour the robin with coloured pencils based on an actual bird that you have seen or a reference photo. Common colours for robins are red and black, orange and brown and blue and brown. The head and wings are usually the darkest colour while the under section and chest are the parts with the brightest colour. For example, you may draw your robin with black feathers that fade to grey as they move downward and then add a bright orange chest and under section for detail and impact.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Drawing pencils
  • Eraser
  • Coloured pencils
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