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The image of two angel wings, disembodied from their wearer and often accompanied by a halo, has become a common element of body art, vehicle decals, clothing, accessories, and home decor. At times, this icon is employed as a eulogy for a deceased friend or family member. At other times, this symbol is used in marketing, as in the case of a popular brand of undergarments.
The use of angels and angel-like wings in art dates back millennia. Perhaps the oldest known artifact of an angel-like figure in art was discovered in Egypt. Dated at 4,000 B.C., it depicts a half-woman, half-bird, winged goddess. Male figures with wings were used in Assyrian, Babylonian, and Greek art as well.
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During the Byzantine, Medieval, and Renaissance periods, angels were typically depicted as described in the Bible – genderless winged persons, male in form. From the 1800’s onward, the genderless aspect was often abandoned in favor of feminine angels.
If you would like to draw your own set of wings, you will need only a pencil, pen, or marker, and a piece of paper. This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is designed to assist artists of all ages and skill levels. Note that each step is accompanied by an illustration. The lines highlighted in blue are new additions to each step.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Angel Wings
Begin by drawing a long, loosely “S” shaped diagonal, curved line.
Draw a mirror image of the first line on the opposite side of the page. These lines form the top edge of each wing.
From the uppermost point on each line, draw a curved line, angling downward diagonally. At the end of this line, draw another curved line, resembling a “U” turned on its side. Draw another sideways “U” shaped line at the end of the latter. These lines form the flight feathers of the wing. Repeat this process to form a mirror image on the opposite side.
Draw more flight feathers beneath those already drawn. Connect a series of curved, “U” shaped lines, angling towards the bottom end of the original line.
Repeat this process on the opposite side to form a mirror image.
From the bottom edge of the original line, connect a “U” shaped line, looping toward the interior of the wing. Connect the “U” shaped line to the nearest feathers using a series of small, connected “U” shaped lines. These lines form the smaller feathers at the base of the wing.
Repeat this process to form a mirror image on the opposite wing.
Across the top of the wing, draw a series of connected, curved lines, thus adding the texture of feathers. Extend the final curved line to the tip of the uppermost flight feather. Repeat on the opposite side to form a mirror image.
In the center of the wing, draw a series of short, connected curved lines and “U” shaped lines, thus adding additional feather texture to the wing.
Repeat on the opposite side to form a mirror image.
Draw a series of short, connected, “U” shaped lines curving from the feather texture to the lower inner portion of each wing. This indicates the texture of small feathers at the base of the wings.
Draw a series of connected, “U” shaped lines extending from the lower portion of the wing to the feather texture of the midsection. Allow the “U” shaped lines to grow larger in size as they reach the midsection of the wing.
Repeat this process to add the detail of feathers to the opposite wing.
Draw another series of connected, “U” shaped lines, extending from the middle of the wing. Allow these “U” shapes to be a bit more pointed, and detail the feathers with one or two short, curved lines extending from the base of each.
Repeat to add feathers to the opposite wing.
Detail the flight feathers using short, curved lines at the base and lower edge of each.
Extend a curved line from the top of the wing and the bottom of the concave edge. Within this space, draw short, curved lines to indicate the presence of feathers.
Repeat to form a mirror image on the opposite side.
Enclose the interior side of each wing using a wavy line. Above the wings, draw an oval within an oval, forming a halo.
Shade the angel wings.
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