How to Draw Ducks: Profile View

The profile view of a duck is a great way to record details of plumage and shape. If you draw several species side-by-side, you can construct a mini field guide for yourself and you will find that you can learn to identify the species much more quickly. Drawing two species in comparison is much more helpful than just one. When you see them next to each other, you can make relative observations such as this one has a larger head, or this one has a steeper forehead.

Start with a light sketch to block in the shape and add the details on top of this framework. Pay attention to the head shape. There is tremendous variation between species.

Click on the thumbnails below to see a step-by-step demonstration of my approach drawing a Northern Pintail.

So what feathers are that little black patch? Leave a comment below and happy sketching.

3 thoughts on “How to Draw Ducks: Profile View

    • See if you can find a photo of a Pintail with an open wing. The feathers of the speculum in not black and the feathers in this little patch are not irridescent… When the speculum does show up on a duck we also see it further back. Isn’t this an interesting puzzle!

  1. Jennifer Gary says:

    I have been photographing shore birds for two years as well as recording their activities in my journal – and am thrilled with your step by step instructions for drawing them! I can’t wait to try it out . Thank you John. You are so awesome!!

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