Toucan Drawing-Many Lessons

Good afternoon all! For this blog, I thought I would talk about my Toucan drawing. I have been drawing for many many years. However, I had forgotten a lesson that I needed to relearn. And thankfully this Toucan taught me it. The lesson is… it’s perfectly fine to restart a drawing.


So let’s go into this a little more. I was feeling worn down from winter, so naturally, I asked my best friend what to draw. I wanted it to be a bird as I wanted to practice detailed feathers. Naturally, he chose a super large bird so I close up feathers would have to wait. But how could I say no? So after a bit of a search, I decided on a Keel-billed Toucan. As you may be aware I am not used to drawing with bright colours. So I wondered how the toucan drawing would turn out.

The start of the toucan drawing

So like always I pick my size. I wanted to have a little quick drawing between commissions so an 8×10 inch. My paper is my favourite Bristol smooth paper. I sketch away. It didn’t look correct so I erased it and restarted. Ok, the toucan drawing looked great! Perfect start colouring. I started with the bill as I like to work left to right. As I moved my way to the eye I started to realise it was off. So I sat and thought. The colour was too intense to erase. I had already poured in 3 hours already into a quick drawing. I could give up on the whole toucan drawing and move onto a waiting commission.

So I sat thought about it and decided to restart completely. This time I decided I would do the partial grid that I explained about in my last blog and in my tutorial. After finally getting the proportions right I started on toucan drawing take 2!

Toucan Drawing

As you can see from this photo most of my inaccuracies were with the dimensions of the bill. Had I of drawn the bill larger the rest of the toucan drawing would have been in proportion. If you see the mistakes in your drawing early, it is better to either change them or start fresh like I did. Once you see the mistakes you will not be happy with the drawing anyway. 

I really enjoyed working with all the different colours, it was a challenge to layer them in a way that looked seamless for the bill. But I was pleased with the result. I really liked the drawing but I thought it was missing something. So I decided to add a quick background. I wanted it to look out of focus. I think it looks ok. But it is definitely something I want and need to work on.

Final Toucan Drawing

I really enjoyed adding the blues, greens and purples in the black feathers for this toucan drawing. All the different colours were so refreshing. Something else this toucan drawing taught me was to burnish the coloured pencil. It added that extra bit of vibrancy I hadn’t been used to with my more delicate coloured pencil drawings.

This is it for now. Hope you all have a great week! Next week I will be doing a tutorial on sketching. And how to use points in your drawing to make sure it has the correct proportions.  Dont forget you can follow me on social media to get notifications when I post a new blog.  You can follow by pressing the links below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *