The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds

Drawing birds opens a world of beauty and sharpens our ability to observe accurately and deeply. The ability to draw is not a gift you are born with but a skill that anyone can develop. Whether you are a birder wishing to quickly sketch birds or an artist who want to understand and accurately depict birds in your paintings this is the book for you. The demonstrations and material in this book has been developed and refined in hundreds of workshops and will give you the techniques and knowledge you need to draw birds. Preview pages from the book and order your copies now. Read published reviews. Learn how to:

  • focus on the most important aspects of a bird in a quick sketch.
  • suggest the texture of bird feathers.
  • observe and capture critical proportions of different species.
  • understand and accurately depict a bird’s wing.
  • draw bird beaks, eyes and feet.
  • foreshorten and rotate your drawings to any angle.
  • render the angles and curves of birds with long necks.
  • draw birds in flight.
  • develop techniques for adding color with colored pencil or watercolor.
  • sketch in the field when your subject can move or fly away.
  • avoid common pitfalls in bird drawing.

35 thoughts on “The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds

  1. Lori says:

    Hi John-Jack! Thank you for generously sharing your gift of drawing. Your online tutorial is amazing. While it is not easy to draw, you certainly have made it possible (and almost easy) for an inexperienced “art” person. Now I need to practice…
    I have just completed the purchase of your ebook on iTunes and would like to order a paperback copy as a gift for my dad–whose name is also John but goes by Jack.
    My dream is to see the big trees in Northern Californina. It would be great to be able to attend a workshop with you. Thank you again.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi there Lori, I look forward to meeting you when you make you way to California. I am so happy that this work opens doors for you. You inspire me to do more.

  2. Katerina says:

    I love your lessons and I would like to buy your book but I’m from Ukraine. Is it possible to buy it?

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Thank you Katerina. You can order an Ebook from the Mac store online. I am not sure if the books is sold in Ukraine.

  3. Danielle says:

    Hello, I am in love with the preview of your book! I was wondering if it could be made available to buy on the nook? If not, I will just have to buy a giftcard so I can purchase it on IBooks one of these days.

      • Joan D says:

        Great News that you have released an ebook version, however I still would like a hard copy as well. Nothing like holding a book full of fantastic art work in your hands especially birds, I have wanted to draw the australian honey eater, the crimson rosella, Rainbow Lorikeets and Kingfisher (well) for sometime.

        • Joan D says:

          I am happy to say have just got my self an ebook edition, am very pleased, look forward to spending a couple days of quality time practicing my birds, rocks, surf and landscapes. will put the hard copy as my Christmas suggestion and keep fingers crossed they get the hint.
          Thanks I will have many more enjoyable moments going through your detailed blogs. loving them.

  4. Gracie Mulcrevy says:

    I am really excited to get a copy of your book…Billie Severy has shown me her copy and I just fell in love with it. I have been trying to draw birds for a few years…I am sure this will be a big help…I already have your Sierra Nevada book and my grandchildren love it…I would like a schedule of your classes….thanks

  5. Peggy Haug says:

    A stunning book, John! I wish I had ordered it initially when I first saw it, because now it’s in high demand, which is good for you!! Because I am an artist (now that I’m retired from 40 years as a nurse!) and because I appreciate your talent, and hard work, I am ordering a copy, directly from you, paying “full-price” (usually I go to the big A.) And I praised it on facebook. Congrats!! What’s next for you?

    • JohnMuirLaws says:

      Thank you for your support Peggy! I appreciate you ordering from me. The big A can undersell the local bookstores and authors but your buying from us helps a lot. I am now working on a guide to nature journaling and starting a series of free sketching workshops in the Bay Area.

    • JohnMuirLaws says:

      I sure do. Amazon and others are out of stock right now because we have sold out of the first printing. The second is on the way. In the meantime, I still have books and am happy to send them out. Thank you for your support.

  6. birdlady says:

    Ps. I wish you would consider selling Laws guide to d4sawing birds as an ebook for the same price. I would love to have a copy on my tablet.

    • JohnMuirLaws says:

      It is both! Jack is the nickname for John. My parents named me John Muir Laws. John after my grandfather on my mom’s side and Muir after my great grandmother on my dad’s side. My maternal grandfather was nicknamed Jack and so I also got that nickname. Everyone calls me Jack so please do. I used my official legal name on my books because if your really are named John Muir and writing books about the Sierra, you might as well use it.

  7. Alejandro says:

    Hi John!, I’m a motion graphics artist, if sometime you’re interested to develop a video for your website or a intro for your videos, I can do it for you, and at the end you could pay me with a book of The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds. Best regards!

    • JohnMuirLaws says:

      That is a great offer. Lets talk about the details. I love the barter system and it is a great way to meet and promote other artists!
      415 310 7592

  8. Barbara Harmon says:

    I’ve been intending for years to devote more time to fully understanding actual bird structure, rather than simply painting or drawing what I think I see. This looks wonderful and I look forward to starting that process!

  9. Kristi Czajkowski says:

    This looks really great! I’d love a copy. I’ve been wanting to learn more about drawing birds for years – they’re not like the plants I usually draw; they move around so much!

    I haven’t quite figured out how to place an order on your website yet, but count me in!


  10. Liz says:

    Thank you for all the information on your website! I’m glad to have found it. Just a note though — the “preview” link to the pages from your book does not work.

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