How to Draw a Swan

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The swan is a type of large waterfowl or water bird. They are known for their grace, both as they glide across the water and as they fly with slow wingbeats in a V-formation.

Swans mate for life. The female is called the pen, and the male a cob. Young swans are called cygnets. Swans typically live 20 years in the wild and they can live as much as 50 years in captivity.

Swans have been used in artwork since ancient times, in paintings, statues, and architecture. One modern example in art and literature is that of the "Ugly Duckling" fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It tells of a "duckling" who suffers abuse from other animals because he is different from his brothers. Eventually, he matures into a beautiful swan, symbolizing transformation for the better.

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Would you like to draw a graceful cartoon swan? This easy, step-by-step cartoon animal drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a sheet of paper, a pencil, and an eraser. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Baby Duck, Baby Bird, and Tweety Bird.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Swan

How to Draw Swan: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the swan's head.

How to Draw Swan: Step 2

2. Erase portions of the original circle and replace them with jagged, zigzag lines. This helps contour the head and give it a feathered appearance.

How to Draw Swan: Step 3

3. Use several overlapping curved lines to draw the beak - the bulge at the top, the upper portion, and the lower portion. Enclose a small round shape on the upper portion of the beak to indicate the nostril.

How to Draw Swan: Step 4

4. Draw the swan's eye. First, draw a curved line across the face to indicate the cheek. Then, enclose a partial circle within a circle next to the cheek. Shade the smaller circle to indicate the pupil.

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How to Draw Swan: Step 5

5. Erase the back of the circle where the head will connect to the neck, and draw the neck. Use long, backward "S" shaped lines that extend from the top of the head and below it.

How to Draw Swan: Step 6

6. Draw the swan's wing. Use a long, curved line to draw the top of the wing, and shorter, overlapping curved lines to draw the feathers. Then, draw a line from the base of the neck to the top of the wing to indicate the swan's back.

How to Draw Swan: Step 7

7. Draw the remaining wing and the flight feathers. For the wing, draw the top using a long curved line and shorter, overlapping lines to form the feathers. Then, use curved lines that meet at points to form the flight feathers at the tips of the wings.

How to Draw Swan: Step 8

8. Use a long, curved line to enclose the swan's belly where it meets the water. Then, use overlapping curved lines to form the feathers of the tail.

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How to Draw Swan: Step 9

9. Draw wavy lines in a circular pattern around the swan's belly. This indicates ripples on the surface of the water.

How to Draw Swan: Step 10

Color your swan. Young swans are typically brown or grey. Adults are most often white with a black band near the beak. Some swans are solid black.

They say that birds of a feather flock together. Complete your flock with more of our bird drawing guides, including ducks, geese, flamingoes, gulls, and other water birds.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Swan Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Swan

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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