How To Draw a Duck with this how-to video and step-by-step drawing instructions. Easy animals to draw for beginners and kids.
Please see the drawing tutorial in the video below
You can refer to the simple step-by-step drawing guide below
Draw the shape of the main body
The first building shape we are using in this tutorial is a large oval that is oblong and slightly sloping. You want to make sure that the left side of the oval is slightly higher than the right side, since the duck body is tilted. If you’re using physical media instead of a tablet, we also recommend using a very light pencil for construction lines so you can easily erase them later.
In this first step, make sure that the oval of the main body is in the center of your canvas and that there is plenty of room on all sides for the rest of the duck’s body.
Create the base of the wing
The oval is definitely the most common building shape and we use different sizes to create different elements of our duck sketch. For the base of the wing, you can draw a much narrower oval that overlaps the main body oval significantly.
The duck’s wings protrude slightly above the tail, so you want the end of the wing-building circle to extend slightly behind the oval of the main body.
Positioning Duck’s Head
Ducks have a very round head, so we will use a small circle as the base shape. Find the point on the oval of the main body where the wings begin to overlap. Now draw small circle just above this point.
Ducks have a fairly short neck, so you don’t want the head to be too far from the body.
Draw the beak in your duck drawing
This step is very simple and quick. Using a very long “U” shape, draw a beak pointing slightly down from the front of the head.
Connect head and body with neckline
Now it’s time to piece together the body and head of your duck sketch by drawing on the neck. Using two lines, you want to create a seamless and smooth connection between the head and body. Start at the bottom of the head circle, and draw a curved line back and then around the front of the main body oval. For the remaining neckline, draw a curved line from the back of the head down to the oval of the body.
Create the base for the legs and feet
For your legs and feet to be easy to draw, you can use single lines to draw them out. Most of the build lines you’ve drawn so far are shapes, but the legs and feet require more freeform lines. Starting at the midpoint of the underside of the main body, draw two separate lines flowing down and forward. On top of each of these lines, create three toes.
The hind leg line should be significantly shorter than the front one. This difference is due to the perspective of our drawing, where the line behind us is further away and therefore appears to be shorter.
Shaping the head and tail
The shape of the duck’s tail is very iconic, so this is another very easy step to complete. Starting at the point where the main body and wings meet on the duck’s back, draw a small curved tail and end on the underside of the main body oval.
Create the final outline of your duck drawing
Now it’s time to create the final outline of your duck drawing. Using all the building shapes you’ve drawn so far, you can sketch out the head, torso, and wings as well as draw some details on the face.
Starting from scratch, follow the construction lines pretty closely. For the beak, add a small curved line at the base to separate it from the rest of the head and create a line inside the beak to show the two halves. Now you can add a small nostril near the top of the beak and add a circular eye inside the head.
When it comes to contouring the neck and most of the body, you can follow the build lines very closely.
For the wings, you could dip your outline a bit below the build shape, adding a few points at the end and a line at the top. For the outline of the tail, you can add a few additional hairs. Use the leg and foot building lines as the center point for your contour. Remember to add curves between the feet to create the fabric. You can complete the foot by adding small claw details to each toe.
More feather detail
In this step, you will use a bunch of different texture lines and dots to create the impression of realistic feathers. Start by adding details to the mine, including some fine lines around the bottom of the mine. You can also color in the nostrils and add some shadow to the tip of the nose. You can continue to paint over the top of your easy duck drawing, adding small dots and lines around the beak and down the neck where the shadows fall naturally. While you’re working on the head, you can color a part of the eye and add some shading around it.
To make your texture as realistic as possible, you should follow the shape of your body when adding duck feather textures.
For the body of the duck sketch, you can create separation between the chest and the rest of the body with a small line. On the chest, your hair lines will flow down in a curved shape. On the rest of the body and wings, you can follow the shape of the duck using slightly longer lines. You can leave the head and tail and the legs and feet blank.
Time for color
Mallard ducks have very iconic colors and the best way to achieve realistic colors for any drawing is to build up different shades gradually. The first color that we will use for our duck painting is light gray. You can apply this shade over the whole duck body.
Apply a second layer of color
The second color you will add to your duck sketch is light brown. To get the difference in shade you can see below, you’ll apply two layers of brown in different areas. Use a medium brush to paint the nipples, upper back and lower wings brown.
The front part of the duck’s breast should be lighter than all other brown areas. For such a look, apply a second coat of light brown over all other brown areas.
Color the head bright green
There are two different colors that you will use in this step to create the signature iridescent green top. These two shades are light green and a cool purple shade. Start by coloring the entire head with your light green color. Then you can take a soft brush and mix the purple and green paint around the edges of the tip. Use an inward motion to blend the two shades together.
Concentrate quite a bit of purple just below the head in the neck area. Shadows will naturally fall in this area and purple is a great shader.
Color the paws and beak
Start this step with yellow and color the entire beak. You can then use a light brown shade to add shadow and contour to the beak. For the propeller, look for orange red and color the paw completely. You can complete the foot by adding a second layer of white highlighter on the forefoot and forefoot.
Shading and highlighting your duck drawing
Highlights and shadows are essential to creating realistic color and size. Start highlighting by using white shadows to add highlights all over the main body of the duck. Make sure your strokes follow the texture lines for more realism. You can also add a pop of white to the neck and add a little sparkle to the duck’s eyes.
To create shadows, use a soft brush to add a light coat of black paint to the bottom of the wings, around the bottom of the duck’s belly, and the entire tail.
End of touches
The final step is optional, but removing the outlines will create a more seamless and realistic drawing. The best way to remove borders is to mark them with the corresponding color. You can do the same for some of the texture lines inside the duck body, retouching these with shades of gray and light brown.