Learn how to draw a Macaw with an easy step by step tutorial. This one focuses on just their very colorful heads. For a full size sample drawing, just scroll down to my Macaw Coloring Page.
Macaws are one of the most colorful species of birds that you will find in all of South America. As members of the parrot family, their size and vivid feathers, along with their rather loud squawking, make them hard to miss wherever they live.
These birds possess brilliant coloring that is very well-suited to the Amazon jungle’s bright fruits, flowers and vivid green canopies. Different species of macaws possess varying color combinations, such as blue and gold or green and red.
This tutorial focuses on just a profile view of a macaw’s face, which is highly distinctive — maybe even as unique as our fingerprints. The close up look will give young artists lots of room to draw and color those patterns.
This how to draw a macaw project will probably have the most success if it is finished with one of the less messy choices of media. Those black stripes sitting next to the white cheeks might bleed if painted, or smear if oil or chalk pastels are used. For that reason, I recommend crayons, or markers to get the neatest and brightest drawing possible.
Getting Started with Drawing Guides
The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing lesson is to show them how to use guides as a reference point.
You may have noticed that all of the tutorials on this website have a dashed line running through the center of each step, both in a horizontal and vertical direction. If students make their own centered lines on their own paper, before drawing, they will have an easy reference to follow.
For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, the main head shape starts to the left of the center vertical line. It also goes up almost to the top of the page. It’s important to draw that shape large so students end up with a head that fills their paper.
When students get their drawing off to a good start, there’s a better chance of them feeling successful by the time they are done. Drawing skills are all about getting the size and placement of lines on paper. Having some visual reference point to get started, will always help anyone learn how to be a little more accurate.
So does that mean students need to get out a ruler to draw a big fat line down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the sheet of paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.
And now, on to the Macaw drawing project.
Use the Button below to Download a PDF Tutorial
New! Coloring Page Gallery
Here’s a new option for busy teachers and parents. You can now easily download this drawing as a coloring page with the red button below. Just click to open it as a PDF, and save it to your desktop. You’ll have a free coloring page that you can print as often as you want, for whatever kind of project you want. Use it for younger students that want in on the coloring fun, or as a full size visual aid for those that are following the drawing tutorial. For many more fun things to color, please see my COLORING PAGE GALLERY It’s never been easier to see and download so many all in one place!
Macaw Coloring Page
Materials for How to Draw a Macaw
- Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase. Buying the pre-sharpened ones will save busy teachers a lot of time.
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tip erasers, especially when erasing leftover pencil lines after tracing.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
- Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
- Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.
Step by Step Directions for How to Draw a Macaw
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to Draw a Macaw
- Draw a straight and curved line for the head.
- Add a top beak shape.
- Draw a bottom beak shape.
- Continue the line to draw the cheek.
- Add a small circle for the eye.
- Draw a pair of curved lines.
- Add another pair of curved lines.
- Finish with the nose oval on the nose top beak.
- Trace with a marker and color.