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How to Draw Eagles
in Four Easy Stages

Learning how to draw eagles requires you to capture more than just its distinctive outline.

To truly replicate its image, you need to create in your drawing a sense of grace, power and the predatory instincts of one of the most powerful birds on the planet.

How to draw eagles tutorial

The Number 1 Secret to Improving Your Artwork

In this how to draw eagles tutorial, we'll create that icon of American imagery, the Bald Eagle, in full aggressive flight, dropping out of the sky, with its razor-sharp talons poised to ensnare its next meal.

You can't help but notice the massive wingspan of this beautiful bird, which allows it to move so quickly through the air, yet broad enough to act as a powerful brake when nearing the ground.

Remember, using the five basic shapes I've described in a separate article, makes things so much easier. Click here to find out about drawing using just five basic shapes.

How To Draw Eagles - Stage 1

Here, I've overlaid a dramatic photo of an eagle on the attack, with some basic shapes.

How to draw eagles stage 1

These allow you to visualise how the main parts of the eagle would look in a simplified form, making it much easier to draw it in the right proportions.

I've used ovals to depict the wings, but you may see these as oblongs or triangles - it doesn't really matter. We all see shapes in different ways. Do what works for you...

This should give you the confidence to push on to start creating the realistic picture - see below ...

How To Draw Eagles - Stage 2

Here, I've removed the photo. Notice how even these raw shapes still convey a good outline of the bird's main proportions, together with a sense of it about to land on some unsuspecting victim.

How to draw eagles stage 2

Can you see especially how the two ovals depicting the wings are quite different in size and breadth.

The smaller oval represents the eagle's right wing which is further away and slightly foreshortened. If it was drawn the same size as the near wing, it would look completely wrong...

How To Draw Eagles - Stage 3

Now we've moved on to using the basic shapes as a  'scaffolding' to develop the picture.

Use the photos at the top of this page and in Stage 1 as reference material for the details.

How to draw eagles stage 3

Incidentally, the two dotted semi-circles I've drawn at the tip of the wings are purely to give you an outline of where the separate feathers at the wing tips sit.

I've drawn these darker than usual to let you see easier, but you should keep these lines light as you'll erase them at the end.

How To Draw Eagles - Stage 4

Here we've added all the details and shading to give the eagle its natural shape.

Notice that I've not tried to fill in all of the wings with shading. The white areas give the impression of light falling on the top of the bird and help to show up individual feathers where I've indicated them. 

How to draw eagles stage 4

Notice I've changed the water in the photo to a land-based scene, with a couple of rocks in the foreground and some distant mountains.

An appropriate backdrop to your animal pictures will <b>add an authentic touch</b> and help to 'place' your subject in a proper setting. Don't make these backgrounds too detailed as they will compete for attention with the main subject - just a hint of the terrain, trees, water, distant mountains or whatever.

Well, I hope this 'how to draw eagles' article will help you create one of the world's most magnificent birds on paper.

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