Learning how to draw angel wings is one of those topics that artists love because of its associations with angels. Furthermore, drawings of angel wings is open to your own interpretation. You can follow a bird's wing or try to elaborate a little bit more.
Over here, we are going to be a bit creative and to distort its proportions while giving it additional colors or effects. Since there is a lot of ways of creating angel wing drawings, I will show you my method that allows you to make your own unique wings.
Just how unique are angel wings compared to a bird's wing? For one, an angel's wing may have extended primary feathers that are very long at specific points in the wing. This gives off the impression that the wings are longer or larger than it is suppose to be.
As mentioned though, there is a lot of freedom. Due to this, you can explore the many different ways an angel wings drawing can be done with a few examples. Some examples are extensions of current drawing ideas while another can be elaborate and stylish.
The knowledge on how to draw angel wings will start with a quick gesture drawing. Your sketch should contain flow points that suggest its proportions and variations to set the tone for the entire wing. Therefore, choose carefully how you want to start portraying your wings.
To help you out, use the anatomy of a bird's wing where there is the main shoulder connecting to the elbow and to the wrist. From there, exaggerate and elongate the primary feathers to exaggerate the wing.
Once a rough sketch is done, hard smudge (at 100% pressure) all the gesture lines to form feathers. Make sure you don't extend one section of feathers over one another. This method utilizes existing value differences in the gesture sketch to create a nice range of value to the feathers.
Finally, erase out of place gesture lines and add shading to the wings. The shading can be done using the dodge and burn tools with a large round brush. These tools will attempt to darken or lighten existing textures without drawing over it.
Since angel wings comes in pairs, one of the many tricks that you can do is duplicate one wing to form the other. This method is used to save time should the wings be used in a symmetrical composition. But first, it's a good idea to solidify the single wing.
To do this part in learning how to draw angel wings, duplicate the layer and merge it again. Repeat this several times until you are certain that the wing layer is completely solid. In the event that the edges are rough, you can smoothen it out.
Having a thick object has its advantages in that you can use it for many different types of backgrounds without the background color showing through the wing. As well, you can import the same object to other drawings and manipulate it to fit a composition to save time.
In the event that you want to refine the wing, locking the layer will allow you to draw within the confines of the wing object. That way, you can make changes without changing the actual shape of the wing object. This is helpful to make things look different even though it is reused.
Opacity can really change how the wings can look in a composition. Just by adjusting the entire wing object's layer, you can fade out the wings to create a translucent effect. You can also smudge it to give it a bit more dynamic feel.
The same can be applied to creating feathers. From just one feather, carefully smudge or blur it to create the illusion of motion. Then, duplicate and manipulate the size of these feathers to multiply the amount as well as create a sense of perspective.
On the subject of perspective, your angel wing drawings will need to show some depth depending on the angle of the main character. Therefore, it's important to enlarge or extend some primary feathers while shrinking others to give it that depth.
In terms of creativity, some angels may have multiple wings like a Cherubim or a Seraphim (based on well established descriptions). One method to dealing with multiple wings is to make it thin. This will allow you to fit a few pairs into your drawing without straining for space.
Understanding the pivot points as well as the varying length of the primary feathers can lead to some very interesting designs. While we can draw traditional angel wings, there are some new and creative ways to express these drawings.
For example, swirls can form angel wings very well. You can draw your own swirls to give it a silhouette of an angel wing or you can take existing patterns found online to manipulate on your own. The trick is seeing the wing through these random shapes.
Through practice and knowing the shape you want to form, seamless arbitrary swirls can be used to form primary feathers, bends, or pivot points in stylized wings fairly easily.
Your tools for manipulating swirls will need to come from isolating the shape if you are taking it from an online source. Before that, use contrasting options to form a strong black and white drawing. Then, with the magic wand tool, you can select groups of high contrasting values to isolate the shape.
It is strongly suggested to manipulate these shapes on individual layers. Manipulation of said shapes can involve perspective, skewing, twisting, warping, and scale. All these, when applied to a swirl or group of swirls, can grant new and interesting shapes.
Near the end, when you have something that you like, merge everything together for further use. The results? This will create the solid wing object that was suggested at the beginning to begin the process of drawing on a wing object all over again. So, what cool ways can you draw angel wings?