I think cardinals are totally adorable. Their pointy head feathers look like funny hats and I love how they mate for life. Did you know they even keep tabs on their partner during the day with little call and response “chip, chip” noises all around the yard.

The Northern Cardinal has a huge year round North American range spanning west / east from the Baja Peninsula to Florida and north/south from the Yucatan to southernmost Canada. Although, they aren’t present in the majority of Canada, the PNW, and most western states. And cardinals are the state bird of 7 states, showing to their general popularity!

It was last week’s snow that made me want to draw cardinals, because they are sure show stoppers in the snow. So this Wonder Wednesday, I created a step by step cute winter cardinal drawing tutorial.

I couldn’t resist the showy allure of these cute little songbirds, plus Cornell Lab of Ornithology and over 100 other bird friendly organizations have declared 2018 the Year of the Bird ! They are encouraging everyone to pledge to do one thing per month for birds. How about starting with the Northern Cardinal and what better way to begin than by nature journaling?


Wonder Wednesday 65:

Draw Cute Winter Cardinals –

a step by step photo tutorial






Color pencils

Optional: a photo of a Northern Cardinal

Let’s Draw!


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”27226,27227,27228,27229,27230,27231,27232,27233,27234,27235″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”27237,27238,27239,27240,27241,27242,27243,27244,27236″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I hope you have fun drawing your cardinals! And with slight adjustments, this basic body and head shape can work for quite a few songbirds too! Play around with them – make them more chubby for a cuter look, place them in your favorite plants, or paint them a little house and feeder! And be sure to check out the winter birds in your area!

What is your favorite winter bird?

Share in the comments below.

Share pics of your cardinal drawings and cute winter bird fun on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder !


Seeds to Sprout:

Subscribe to the Wings, Worms, and Wonder You Tube channel for more drawing and painting tutorials here.

Join the Wings, Worms, and Wonder online nature journaling school here. There are lots of classes for lots of skill levels, price ranges (starting at free), and course lengths on everything from color theory to nature journaling proper!

Check out more Wings, Worms, and Wonder watercolor painting classes here on Skillshare. Subscribe for all 4 of my classes and more!

Learn more about why 2018 is declared the Year of the Bird here.

Learn more about cardinals here and even listen to their different songs, including the chip, chip! And get a great color reference too.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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  1. This was awesome. I recently started working with colored pencils and was looking for a cardinal that I could try my hand at. Thank you.

    1. Dear Michele, You are very welcome! I am so glad that you enjoyed the step-by-step and found it useful. The trick to color pencils, I’d say, is layers upon layers of multiple colors. That’s what makes them rich and with depth. 🙂 Kelly

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