Today, angels in statuary or art are typically depicted in one of two ways – either as females or as chubby infants. Did you know, however, that this has not always been the case?
Many angels depicted in antiquity were drawn as winged men. This can be seen in the art of Egypt, Assyria, and other regions. Early Christian art also contained male angels, relying on the Bible’s descriptions of these beings – such as “the man Gabriel” described in the book of Daniel and “Michael the archangel” of Revelation. It is interesting to note that in the Bible, angels are described as having no gender, yet male in form.
This was reflected in Christian art for centuries, but began to change around the time of the Victorian era. During the 1800’s, artists began to paint angels with long hair and more feminine features.
Would you like to draw your own angel? You can, using only a pencil, a piece of paper, and this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial. You may also wish to have handy an eraser and something with which to color.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing an Angel
Draw a curved line on each side of the head to enclose the ears. Within each ear, draw a series of short, connected, curved lines to detail the inside of the ear.
Draw two short, curved lines protruding from the bottom of the face to form the neck. Enclose the shape of the neck using a short, “S” shaped line.
Draw a scalloped, wavy line around the base of the neck to add detail to the garment. Connect the long, curved lines at the bottom using a long, wavy line. Detail the fabric folds of the dress by drawing several curved lines between the long, curved lines.
Draw the other sleeve by extending a curved line from the collar on the opposite side. Connect this line to the bottom of the dress using a curved line.
Draw a hand extending from the other sleeve, again utilizing narrow “U” shaped lines to form the fingers.
Give the angel flowing hair. Draw a long, curved line, beginning at one sleeve, surrounding the head, and ending at the other sleeve. Draw a number of curved lines extending from the head to the shoulders. Across the forehead, draw two curved lines that meet in a point at the top of the head.
Draw the eyes. Draw a wide, “U” shaped line to form the bottom of each eye, and a thick curved line to form the top. Above the eyes, use curved lines to enclose a curved shape and form eyebrows.
Draw an oval within each eye area. Inside the oval, draw a smaller oval and a “W” shaped line across the bottom. Shade between the small oval and the line. Then, Draw a wide “U” shaped line to form the smiling mouth. Draw curved lines beneath the mouth to dimple the chin, and a short, curved line to form the nose.
Draw the wings. Extend a long, curved line from the angel’s hair on each side. Then, extend a series of overlapping, shorter curved lines from the tip of the long line. Repeat until the form of the wing is enclosed by the overlapping lines, meeting the hair or sleeve.
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