Here is another look at drawing hawks in flight. This time I have chosen a difficult angle. The bird, a Northern Harrier, holds its wings up in a steep V. This one is rocked toward you so that the close wing is strongly foreshortened. Lets take a look at how to draw hawks in flight, step by step.
Click on the first image in the series to see an annotated slide show of the process.
The posture line of the body runs through the long axis of the body. Indicate the length and angle of the wings. A wing that is foreshortened toward you will appear shorter. Because the bird is coming at a slight angle toward the viewer, the closer wing is back, the far wing forward. Block in the body with an oval along the axis line for the body. Draw a line across the back to show how broad the back will be. The wings do not meet in a sharp V on the back, rather there is a flat area of the back between them. Show the width of the wing as a simple plank. With these angles, it is easier to start with a simple shape and develop it as you go. Divide the wing into the two functional zones, the outer primaries and the secondary feathers closer to the body. The bird’s wrist will be between these two zones on the leading edge of the wing. From the wrist, cut back into the rectangle of the primaries to show the angle of the leading edge of the wing. The tail is roughly alined with a line drawn between the back corners of the wings and the line between the bases of the wings at the shoulders. To avoid drawing the beak too big, draw a circle to block in the size. Draw a line running back from the bill to place the eye. The eye will sit below the line. Carve in the angles of the body. Give the chest some weight and look for the angles behind the head and from the bill to the chest. The detailed drawing fits into the framework you have made. If you can not get a good look at the bird’s details, just block in its silhouette and indicate how the light falls on the wings and body. Please share if you like it!