Red in profile
I love being outside and in the garden walking around and looking at all there is to see. I check on which plants are blooming and which plants have finished, water those that need it and feed the fish. All the time cats, dogs and especially chickens are in tow. They follow me around talking and keeping a look out for crickets or other choice things to eat. Rooster Pompy crows and stops walking to spread his wings and gives a gentle flap. The hens each have recognizably different ways of talking. Red our Rhode Island Red has the traditional “baah, bah baah, bah baah” type of cluck. Henrietta the Polish Buff is very skittish and clucks lower, faster and in shorter ” bah bah bahs” until she can’t stand it and feels she must flee letting out a loud BAH, bah bah bah. She scampers away, but not far. Little Black the hen tending the three young chicks really sounds like she is saying “cluck cluck cluck” and she puffs her feathers out to make herself look bigger. And then there is our dear Mater. Her nickname is Ninja chicken. She is tame and friendly, but she likes to give a gentle peck on the toes if I am wearing sandals. I have learned to recognize the look and stance she takes right before she pecks. Slowly she turns, stands taller, stiffens, tilts her head to one side talking with a high pitched and slow “bah gwah, and then she pecks. She loves to peck my old mellow Chihuahua, toes, unsuspecting cats, empty coffee cup, you name it and I think she has pecked it.
Now I am sure you are wondering why I am going on about how the chickens talk and their different behaviors when this is supposed to be a how to draw a chicken blog. Well, the reason is because these characteristics mentioned are things that will help me draw a better picture of what I am looking at. Drawing isn’t just about duplicating shapes and colors or the size of the subject. By studying and observing the subject’s movements and behavior, if it is a living subject, you can draw your subject to be recognizable as a particular, in this case, hen or rooster.
Today begins a series of simple exercises on how to draw the hens and rooster and their chicken coops. I will post a photo and step-by-step outline drawing of each subject. And remember, drawing is like eating pie. You don’t just mash your face into the pie with your mouth open. The pie is cut into pieces of which you take bites so, when you draw you will do it in steps
Before you draw take a moment to look at Red’s overall shape. She is pointy in some areas and curvy in others and her legs bend in the opposite direction than our legs bend. Her body is shaped like an egg and her head is a circle. Her neck, beak and tail are triangles and the comb that sits on top of her head like a cloud is drawn with a curvy line.
So, grab a pencil, and some paper and I will begin to describe how to draw a chicken. The first step is to draw an egg that will be Red’s body. Eggs are rounder and wider at one end and decrease in size and become slightly more pointed at the other end. Next at the smaller end draw a triangle with the flat side slightly overlapping the edge of the egg and pointing out. At the top of the triangle draw a circle around the tip of the triangle. This is Red’s head. Now draw a small triangle touching the circle just like you did for the body. You have just added her beak. Okay, now at the opposite end of the egg, draw a larger triangle with the base overlapping the edge of the egg and have the point up.
Look at the photo again. Look at Red’s legs and how they bend away from her head and toward the tail. Draw a “w” on the underside of the egg, belly. Next draw what is called a diagonal line. Diagonal lines are not up and down or left to right, but leaning. Start your diagonal line under one of the curves of the “w” and your line should lean down and toward the tail. The next diagonal line will begin at the end of the first one and lean down and toward the head. Repeat these steps for the second leg.
There, you have drawn Red in profile or side view. Look at the photo again because you still need to add feet, a wing and the comb on top of her head and an eye. Since you drew the side view of Red you only need one eye. You also need to erase the lines where the triangles and body overlap. If you compare the drawing to the photograph I left something off of the drawing that you will see in the photograph. A hint is to look under the beak or chin area. Add that shape, or you could use the letter “u”, to your drawing.
Great job, now you can color her and add things around her to make a complete picture. Oh, and don’t forget to sign your work. I hope you will join me again for the next drawing exercise.