How to Draw a Dove

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The dove has long been used as a symbol of peace, innocence, and purity by in a variety of regions and by numerous religious groups. In ancient Rome and Greece, the image of a dove carrying or encircled by leaves was a common aspect of funeral art. The dove was also used in early Christian and Jewish art, and it continues to be used in art, advertising, military insignia, and by pacifist organizations.

This image of a dove carrying a leaf or twig in its beak can be traced to the biblical story of Noah, recorded in Genesis chapter 8. After the earth had been flooded for some time, he is said to have released a raven and then a dove from the ark. When the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak, he knew that life was returning to the earth. The symbolism of the dove was further cemented in the Christian belief system when a dove was reported to have descended from heaven upon the baptism of Jesus.

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Doves, often called pigeons, are a common sight around the world. Due to their “homing” behavior – instinctively returning to the location in which they were raised – doves have at times been used as a means of communication.

Would you like to draw your own dove? All you will need is this easy, step-by-step tutorial, a pencil, and a piece of paper. You may also wish to have an eraser handy, and tools with which to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Peacock, Eagle, and Bird.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Dove

How to Draw Dove: Step 1

Begin by drawing a small circle. This will outline the dove’s head.

How to Draw Dove: Step 2

Draw two curved lines extending from the circle, meeting in a point to form the bird’s beak. Draw another curved line between the circle and the tip of the beak, indicating the division of the upper and lower portions.

How to Draw Dove: Step 3

Draw a series of overlapping curved lines, forming the bird’s neck as well as the detail of feathers.

How to Draw Dove: Step 4

Draw a large oval beneath the neck and head, outlining the bird’s body.

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How to Draw Dove: Step 5

Draw a long, curved line, connecting the neck to the oval and then extending from it. This extension is the beginning of the dove’s tail.

How to Draw Dove: Step 6

Enclose the wing using a series of curved lines, extending from one side of the oval to the other. Draw several short, curved lines to add detail to the wing.

How to Draw Dove: Step 7

Draw a long, curved line from the front of the neck to the base of the wing, outlining the bird’s neck and stomach.

How to Draw Dove: Step 8

Erase the guide lines from the head and body.

How to Draw Dove: Step 9

Draw a long, curved line extending from the wing, outlining the bottom edge of the tail. Draw a series of connected, curved lines to add detail to the center of the tail.

How to Draw Dove: Step 10

Connect the upper and lower portions of the tail using a series of connected, overlapping curved lines.

How to Draw Dove: Step 11

Draw a series of connected, curved lines from the wing to the tail. Place additional curved lines within the tail, adding detail.

How to Draw Dove: Step 12

Enclose the shape of the beak using a curved line. Enclose the shape of the eye using two curved lines, meeting in a point on each side of the eye. Draw a curve across the eye to enclose the pupil. Add detail by drawing a tiny circle. Shade the pupil.

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How to Draw Dove: Step 13

Draw a curved line at the base of the head to indicate the jaw. Then, draw several series of connected, curved lines on the neck, wing, and tail, bestowing the texture of feathers.

How to Draw Dove: Step 14

Begin the bird’s leg by enclosing a roughly triangular shape beneath the wing, using a series of curved lines.

How to Draw Dove: Step 15

Connect the tip of the triangle shape to the body using a curved line.

How to Draw Dove: Step 16

Draw the foot using a curved line that repeatedly doubles back on itself, forming an “X” shape. Draw a small, curved triangle at the end of each toe to indicate the claws.

How to Draw Dove: Step 17

Draw the far foot behind the first, using curved lines. Draw a triangular claw at the tip of each foot.

How to Draw Dove: Step 18

Draw an “S” shaped line passing through the bird’s beak. Draw a straight line to indicate the ground beneath its feet, and lines of various lengths to give the ground texture.

How to Draw Dove: Step 19

Draw leaves along the “S” shaped line, using two curved lines for each. Use a curved line to draw a vein in the center of each leaf.

How to Draw Dove: Step 20

Color your dove.

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