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Draw a Cardinal

Once you learn how to draw a cardinal, you’ll have the perfect subject matter for a very colorful watercolor resist project.

how to draw a cardinal
A watercolor resist cardinal makes it easy to add some snowflakes.
how to draw a cardinal
An option for diagramming this project on your classroom board.
The cardinal tutorial found in the PDF below.

You can save your students some frustration by having them use a permanent marker to fill in the cardinal face, and then crayons to color the branches and add pine needles. The crayon not only adds some nice texture, it will not smear when students paint right over it with the blue watercolor.

Adding snow is pretty too, but it really needs to be drawn very heavily with the white crayon so that the circles stay nice and white. I don’t thing it’s possible to have too much waxy crayon, but it’s very possible to have too little, which will result in them disappearing. Worse yet, you can’t add them afterward as they just won’t show up over the blue color


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Time needed: 1 hour.

How to Draw a Cardinal

  1. Start the bird body.

  2. Add a tail.

  3. Draw a wing.

  4. Draw the mask and eye.

  5. Add a beak.

  6. Draw a branch.

  7. Add legs that connect to the branch.

  8. Erase the line inside the wing.

  9. Trace and add crayon details. Paint a red bird and blue sky.


There are many more fun and easy drawing tutorials like this one, in my “Christmas Drawing” ebook in my PDF Shop.

All have simple step by step tutorials to help beginner artists see where to start and how to finish each drawing. Use it for Christmas classroom projects or special homemade cards for gifts or holiday framing. Just click on the book or title to learn more.

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