Parakeet Cartoon Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

A parakeet cartoon drawing is a neat way to depict one of the most social animals to own as a pet. Those that are lucky and responsible enough to own this bird will know how much of a great companion they are. Now, here is an opportunity to draw a cartoon parakeet to brighten up someone's day.

While the term parakeet and parrots can be used interchangeably, parakeets are often smaller and have the ability to mimic human voices. They are social birds that thrive on intellectual stimulus and are easily trained. Moreover, they are the third most popular pets after dogs and cats.

Furthermore, their size, like those of the common budgerigar or budgie for short, makes them easy to handle as they require very little space as well as being very cute. With a wide variety of colors, they are very visually appealing. In drawing this bird in a cartoon format, it makes the focus of the colors more apparent.

Imagine drawing and then printing out an adorable parakeet cartoon. Hanging it on the wall or in a scrapbook collection is a great social piece for friends and family members. Not only can it be easy to draw, but the resulting finished product brings in a warm feeling of accomplishment and a lot of smiles to those viewing it.

Sketching the parakeet cartoon drawing

A parakeet cartoon drawing has its beginnings in a simplified sketch. The major characteristics to draw are the 'X' shaped toes, a curved beak, long tail, and a protruding forehead. The latter is most emphasized when cartooning.

Start with two circles: one for the head and one for the main body. Then, add in a smaller oval for the wings and then triangle the tail. The feet can be simple sketched in with stick lines. This is just to show the shape of the toes and legs.

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Next, join these simple shapes together - specifically the head with the body. Add in some markers for the different layers of feathers and finish it off the head by designating areas for the beak and the eyes. Finally, thicken up the legs and toes a bit.

Moving along, it's time to decide how to deform the parakeet cartoon. With a simple lasso, highlight the head and then scale it to about twice as big. In doing so, the sketch lines become mismatch. That's OK as all that has to be done is to join the sketch lines back together again by drawing it out.

Cleaning up the parakeet cartoon drawing

With lines all over the place and bits of black marks here and there from the eraser tool, the sketch may be a messy. This is where the sketch drawing becomes a workable line drawing through some smart and manual clean up.

The initial step will require that the drawing should have a constant value instead of mixes of different grey hues. One easy way to do this is to duplicate the sketch multiple times and then merge it together. The stacking effect will automatically thicken up the lines.

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Then, clean up the thick lines by erasing into it. The alternative method is to hard smudge the sketch lines using a smudge brush at 100% pressure. This has the effect of shifting pixels around. Finally, use the airbrush to fill in the rest.

So what is considered the rest? On a budgie, there are a series of black pigments in the feathers. These pigments are curved and are primarily seen on the back of the bird. It also covers the majority of the wings. Simply draw this in using curved strokes.

The last step will require filling in the bird with a neutral tone to get it ready for coloring. Make this easy and do the neutral fill on another layer as it will be hard Up to this point, everything is easy without using any fancy tools.

Coloring the parakeet cartoon drawing

The next step will require filling in the bird with a neutral tone, if it hasn't already been done, to get it ready for coloring. Make this easy and do the neutral fill on another layer to keep everything separated and organized.

For the actual coloring, make sure the grey neutral layer fits inside the line drawing. Then, lock the entire layer down. This is to make it easy to color within its confine. At first, select a chalk brush and go over it with a few colors: one for the chest, one for the legs, one for the beak, and a simple gradient for the back.

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Sometimes, the colors are either too strong or too weak. When that happens, use the dodge and burn tools to quickly enhance the colors. This works best if used with a large round brush as it blends in the colors far better than a chalk brush head.

How does the budgie look so far? Does it have the right colors? Is the form correct or is there more room for correction? Whatever the case, the following step is all about taking this parakeet cartoon drawing through color manipulation.

Texturing the parakeet cartoon drawing

There are multitudes of options available here for the purpose of bringing out the colors even more. If comfortable with the final drawing leading to this step, merge all the layers together to have everything nice and simplified.

The quickest way to bring up the colors would be to use a brightness/contrast adjustment layer in Photoshop. Changing the slider will let one experiment on the level of contrast to bring out. A more manual approach would be to use the dodge and burn tools once again.

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The stronger the pressure, the more of the values are highlighted or dialed back. The other advantage, at least with the dodge tool, is that it ignores the black lines. So long as any darkening of the values doesn't become fully black, it can always be brought back to very light values with this tool.

As for the budgie's proportions, go to Filter > Liquify to warp the entire drawing if there is more that can be done. Remember that one of the main characteristics of the bird is the frontal lobe? Use this filter to warp that area of the bird to emphasize it.

Another filter that can be used is Filter > Blur > Surface Blur. This particular filter blurs in similar colors while bringing out the edges of contrasting colors. It's almost a cheat how good this filter is when it comes to creating a cartoon effect.

Overall, it's very easy to draw. Also, since it's digital, it's easy to share it with people that are important. It really is just that simple and quick to draw a parakeet cartoon drawing! After doing that, just put the computer drawing pad away and continue on with the rest of the day. No messy cleanup involved after unlike traditional ways of drawing!