Art History Lab

Creating a Realistic Dove Drawing: Techniques and Step-by-Step Guide

Drawing a realistic dove can be a challenging task for an artist who is new to the art world. However, with a bit of practice and patience, it can be achieved.

There are two parts to drawing a realistic dove sketching and adding color and detail. In this article, we will discuss both parts in detail with step-by-step guidance.

Part 1: Sketching the Dove

Sketching the dove is the first step towards creating a realistic dove drawing. Follow these simple steps to draw a dove:

Step 1: Start with an Oval Shape

Begin by sketching an oval shape for the body of the dove.

This shape will help us create the basic framework for the dove’s body. Step 2: Add Head

After drawing the oval, add the head of the dove.

The head should be small and rounded compared to the body. The beak should be a small triangle at the end of the head.

Step 3: Add the Body

Now it’s time to add the body to the oval frame. The body should be larger than the head and roundish in shape.

Make sure to connect the head to the body using a neck. Step 4: Draw the Wings

Draw the wings on both sides of the bird’s body.

The wings should be positioned in a way that they appear tilted downwards. The wings should be broad at the top and pointed at the ends.

Step 5: Draw the Tail Feathers

Draw the tail feathers of the dove. The feathers should be long and curved inward.

The feathers should be located below the bird’s wings. Step 6: Add Claws

Add small claws to the bottom of the dove’s body.

These claws should be small and pointed. Part 2: Adding Color and Detail

The second step in drawing a realistic dove is adding color and detail.

Follow these simple steps to add color and detail to your dove drawing:

Step 1: Applying Shading

Before adding color, create shading on the dove drawing. Shading helps to give depth to your drawing and can make it appear more realistic.

You can use a pencil or shading tool to do this. Step 2: Coloring

Now it’s time to add color to your dove drawing.

The color should mimic the natural color of a dove, which is usually a combination of beige and gray. Use a paintbrush and paint colors to add the color.

Remember to layer the color and let each layer dry properly before adding the next. Step 3: Detailing

The final step is to add detail to your dove drawing.

The key to making your dove drawing look realistic is to focus on small details such as the feathers on the wings and tail. Use a paintbrush and paint colors to add details such as feather patterns, eye color, and beak shape.

Contouring can also add depth to the feather details, while a highlight added to the eye can make your dove drawing pop.


In conclusion, drawing a realistic dove can be a rewarding experience for any artist. By following the steps provided above, you can create a beautiful representation of this majestic bird.

Remember to be patient, practice often, and use your creativity to make your dove drawing stand out. Happy drawing!

Part 3: Applying Techniques to Create a Realistic Dove Drawing

To create a realistic dove drawing, it’s essential to apply the right techniques.

We will discuss three techniques that you can apply to improve your dove drawing.

Contour and Structure

Contouring is the process of creating brush strokes that follow the structure of the bird’s body, feathers, and wings. This technique helps enhance the features of the dove.

You can use a shading tool or a small brush to create bold and defined strokes. When using contouring, make sure to follow the direction of the bird’s feathers.

Structure refers to how the bird’s body is formed. You can use both contouring and shading to create that structure.

For instance, when working on the body of the dove, start by laying down a base color of beige or gray. Then, build from that by adding layers of light and dark shades of the same color.

Using brush strokes, create feather-like patterns on the wings and tail feathers, and follow the direction of the feathers’ flow.

Adding Texture

Texture lines are essential when creating a realistic dove drawing. They can make your dove drawing appear more realistic and expressive.

Utilizing a soft brush can help achieve softer, blended texture lines. Harder brushstrokes can be used to create more dramatic and sharp texture lines.

Highlighted brush strokes are used to add dimension to your dove drawing. Highlighted brush strokes should be applied to areas that need a more defined look.

For example, highlights on the feathers’ edges can give the feathers more depth and definition. A small amount of white paint on the brush can be used to highlight specific areas.

Final Touches and Tracing

Outlining is a popular technique used to give your dove drawing a finished appearance. Tracing the outer section of your bird’s body, tail feathers, and wings using a dark pencil or paint can create a neat and precise look.

Use your best judgment in deciding whether this step is critical, depending on the type of dove drawing you want to create. In any case, if there are visible lines visible after completing your dove drawing, they should be erased or covered with paint or pencil.

The goal of this step is to keep your dove drawing looking clean, polished, and perfect.

Part 4 – Frequently Asked Questions

Difficulty Level

Drawing a realistic dove is relatively easy, even for beginners, with guidance from a tutorial like this. Take the time to follow the step-by-step guide, and you’ll be on your way to creating a remarkable dove drawing.

With the right tools, you can become an expert at drawing doves with practice.

Required Colors

To create a realistic dove, you don’t need many colors. The primary colors required to draw a dove are beige and gray.

You should mix these colors to create the shades required to bring depth and realism to your drawing. You may also require an additional range of colors, depending on the type of artist you are and the dove drawing’s unique features.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with color, and always practice before applying the colors to your final artwork.


Drawing a realistic dove is not as hard as you may think. By following our tutorial, applying the right techniques, and experimenting with color, you can create a masterpiece of your own.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful and inspiring. Remember to take your time, practice, and enjoy the process of creating your dove drawing art.

In conclusion, drawing a realistic dove requires careful attention to detail and the application of the right techniques. The process involves sketching the basic shape and adding color and detail.

Techniques such as contouring, structure, texture lines, and airbrushing can help bring your dove drawing to life. With practice, even beginners can create beautiful and realistic dove drawings.

Remember to be patient, use your creativity, and enjoy the process of creating your artwork.

Popular Posts