How to Draw a Mockingbird

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"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There are many fictional allusions to mockingbirds in literature. Perhaps the most famous is the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and its subsequent 1962 film adaptation. The novel, often read by American junior high and high school students, broaches the subjects of rape, racial inequality, and lost innocence. The mockingbird that should not be killed is thought to represent the idea of innocence that can be destroyed by evil.

Another literary allusion is the mockingjay of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Mockingjays are hybrids of mockingbirds and the genetically altered jabberjays that could recall and mimic human speech. The mockingjay is a plot device; it becomes a symbol of the growing rebellion.

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Mockingbirds have further been used in art and popular culture. There is a Marvel superhero named Mockingbird, and the animal itself is the official state bird of Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Mississippi.

Would you like to draw a realistic mockingbird? This easy, step-by-step animal drawing guide will show you how.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Eastern Bluebird, Blue Jay, and Robin.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Mockingbird

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 1

1. Begin by sketching the bird's head. Use curved lines to sketch the top of the head and the front of the neck. Allow the lines to meet at a sharp, somewhat hooked point, forming the beak. Draw short, overlapping lines at the base of the neck to indicate the texture of feathers.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 2

2. Use long, curved lines to continue the form from the base of the neck. Draw the bird's back and chest.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 3

3. Sketch the upper portion of the mockingbird's wing. Use a long, curved line to form the front of the wing, and double it back at the tip. Then, use a series of overlapping, curved "U" shaped lines to indicate the first row of feathers.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 4

4. Extend the wing using a long, curved line, and double it back at the tip. Overlap a short line, followed by another long line that doubles back at the tip. Use a series of connected "U" shaped lines to complete this portion of the wing.

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How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 5

5. Extend a long, curved line from the bird's back, and double it back upon itself to form the tail. Connect it to the wing using a few "U" shaped lines, and texture it with curved lines down its length.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 6

6. Draw the mockingbird's leg. Use nearly parallel curved lines to sketch the upper leg. Note that the lines are farther apart where the leg attaches to the body. Then, use "U" shaped lines to draw the forward and rear-facing toes.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 7

7. Connect the upper leg to the wing using a curved line, completely enclosing the bird's body. Then, use a pair of curved lines to sketch the remaining leg.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 8

8. Draw the mockingbird's eye, a small circle containing a smaller shaded circle within it. Then, give the head, body, wing, and tail the texture of feathers by drawing a series of short, closely spaced lines.

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How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 9

9. Draw a branch for the bird to perch on. Use a pair of curved lines spaced to fit between the bird's toes. Draw a crooked "V" shaped line at one end of the branch to indicate a splitting into twigs.

How to Draw Mockingbird: Step 10

Color your mockingbird. The northern Mockingbird is the most common type in North America. It is has a cream-colored belly and grayish-brown back, wings, and tail, with black and white markings.

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The Complete Mockingbird Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Mockingbird

Printable PDF of the Drawing Guide

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