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Draw a Cardinal

You need to keep shapes really simple if you want to learn how to draw a cardinal. This one was inspired by a stock art illustration.

how to draw a cardinal


• Multimedia Paper
• Sharpie marker, black
• Oil Pastels


1. On a horizontal sheet of paper, students draw a cardinal in pencil, following the diagram above. If you are trying this with kinder or first graders, I would consider cutting out a cardboard wing template for them to trace first. It helps get everyone off to a good start, and draw a bird that fills the page.
2. When complete, the cardinal is traced with a black permanent marker, and the black face is filled in.
3. The cardinal is colored heavily with red pastel, and the background with sky blue. Please note that the marker sometimes eventually bleeds into the pastel, after several days. If you’d like to keep the look of the original, then consider scanning it or taking a digital photo, for the sake of posterity.



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