How to Draw a Woodpecker

Step 1

Start by drawing the eye of your Woodpecker in pencil. Draw lightly at first so that you can erase easily if you want to change anything.

Step 2

Now add the crest and face detail.

Step 3

Draw in the beak now.

After you finish your Woodpecker drawing why not color it in like this!

Click on the Woodpecker above to find out how I created these colorful images from my bird drawing.

I used watercolor paints and masking fluid, both available from BLICK art supplies.

Click on a woodpecker below to see a bigger one!

Interesting facts about Woodpeckers

The greater spotted woodpecker breeds in all kinds of woodlands, especially within stands of spruce and pine. The conifer seeds are an important source of food in winter. They also breed in the larger parks and gardens. They live in mostly deciduous mixed Woods, often with good elements of aspen and a waterlogged regrowth. They are an alert but cautious bird, but in winter they may visit bird tables where they can be seen clinging upside down like a tit.

Their food consists of insects, seeds and also at times birds eggs. To extract to seeds, it wedges cones firmly in special bark crevices, and you can find piles of empty cones lying beneath. In some times when the cone crop fails in the northern latitudes, they make invasion-like migrations to the South and Southwest. Some of them reach Britain.

In terms of identification the commonest of the Pied woodpeckers i.e. those with basically black and white plumage, usually easily identified by a saturated red vent which is sharply demarcated from the white belly. They have two large white oval shoulder patches. The black wings are barred in flight and they fly in deep undulation in a straight direction. The adult male has a sugar lump sized red patch on the hind crown. The adult male and female have black crowns with no red, and the juveniles a combination of the mostly red crown with a red patch larger and brighter on the male.

More Woodpecker info.

Juveniles also have a more poorly developed black stripe between the mustache and nape the paler red vent and sometimes faint streaks on the flanks. These features make it confusable with the middle and spotted white woodpecker.

White-backed woodpeckers; note the white ovals on the shoulders as on an adult comma black mustache-like stripe reaching the bill, and black sides to the red crown patch and black hand crown except for the middle spotted variation.

The birds in West and South of Europe are usually more dusky grey tinged brownish white below and on the forehead and also have a slightly more slender bill. In Algeria and Tunisia, the breast has a mottled back and a red band and a red vent extends well, but to a variable degree, up onto the belly. The voice it has a short sharp “click” sometimes slowly repeating in longer series. When agitated it gives a very fast series of thick-voiced chattering notes. With regard to the drums in spring (the sound a woodpecker makes by hammering on a hollow branch or tree stump) the roles are characteristically short and very fast, making it difficult to hear individual strikes, and end abruptly. I have them regularly in my garden, they love my large Umbrella pine tree, but I hear them more often than I see them.

Ideas and Techniques in graphite pencil for drawing a Woodpecker

Pencil hardness for the bald eagle drawing

Once you have actually finished your easy to draw Woodpecker there is a great deal to find out that could serve you well in your more advanced animal drawing. I advise studying the video further down the page of me drawing a Yorkie in graphite pencil. In the video, I am using a technique whereby I initially draw the volumes of the animal utilizing basic circles. This provides a solid foundation for your animal drawing, and also you can use precisely the same strategy in your more detailed Woodpecker drawings.

Graphite Pencil Hardness

Pencils are rated for hardness and softness utilizing the HB range. A regular set of 6 pencils can typically range from 8B, the softest, to HB, the hardest. You can buy harder pencils than HB, however, these are better adapted to technical drawing. When you try to get away with working with only a single HB pencil, you will discover that you are pushing down too hard in a futile effort to get a sufficiently dark tone. Changing to a softer pencil is a better solution, especially as a set of 6 pencils is not very expensive. You can see the difference it can create in the image below.

Do treat yourself to a suitable set of pencils in a range of degrees of softness, as it will certainly open a broad sphere of possibilities for you in all your animal drawing. I additionally suggest that you make use of an excellent paper or board to draw on. This will help you enormously in regards to giving a quality feel to the finished product. If you wish to frame one of your more successful efforts, it will certainly look a lot  better if the paper is thick enough to remain flat under glass.

Watch this video to get tips and learn techniques that you can apply, should you like to do a more advanced image of a Woodpecker.

Ideas and Techniques in colored pencil for drawing a Bird

Ideas for easy Bird drawing in colored pencil


A great paper to choose is hot pressed watercolor paper, as it will take a lot of layers of color and offers itself well to blending strategies. If you plan to re-work thoroughly then using a good board such as Bristol Board may be the best direction to go. There are two sorts of Bristol board to choose from, the least textured surface is called “Plate”, and its also the best surface for blending and also creating successive layers of shades of color.

The other surface is referred to “Velum”, and also it’s not as smooth. This slightly rougher board will grasp your pencil strokes much better, and also allow for a much more distinctive appearance which might fit your Woodpecker drawing far better, but it actually boils down to what type of finish you desire to attain in the long run.



You can integrate colored pencil with various other mediums such as watercolor or pastel. You might, for instance, rough in the general forms as well as tones of your Woodpecker in either watercolor or pastel, and then finish off the more detailed parts with your colored pencils.

As always you ought to try out various techniques to learn your very own unique style. Just by trying all the various techniques will you find what works best for you personally.

It is very important to have a concept already picked out in your head, as an example, some means you believe your Woodpecker might be best portrayed to draw out the qualities distinct to this bird. If you don’t have a clear concept as to what you’re attempting to accomplish with your drawing, it can be difficult to know which chosen selection of colored pencils and which sort of board or paper support suits you best.


Ideas and Techniques in Watercolor for drawing a Bird

Ideas for easy Watercolor for birds

Watercolor Brushes for your bird drawing

Drawing a Woodpecker in Watercolor is not as challenging as it could appear at first glance. This is because you can make use of watercolor in several ways. You can make use of it with a huge soft round brush called a Mop, or a large flat brush called a Wash Brush or just a “Flat”. These brushes work well for backgrounds to your bird drawing, allowing you to use a way of painting called “wet in wet” which is excellent amusement as it is really fast.


Brushes perfect for Feather details


The next fascinating brush for drawing Birds in Watercolor is known as a Rigger. This is as it was first created to paint in the rigging of ships with sails. It’s a long slim brush, not huge, however, it would certainly be terrific for the details of the Woodpeckers feathers for instance. The brush you will use for practically your other drawing is a number 4 or 6 “Round”. This is the watercolor brush equivalent of your pencil.

You can get brushes as tiny as 000, for the very finest of detailed painting, and professional wildlife artists love to use these brushes to paint in the single hairs of the animal or animals they are painting, to get that exceptional appearance. The finest Watercolor brushes in the world are made from Kolinsky Sable. The hairs from these Martin like animals, originally from Russia, have a one-of-a-kind springiness which permits them to regain their shape efficiently while holding a good quantity of watercolor or just water.

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