By Daniel Merac
Drawing is a natural activity that is part of everyone’s lives, whether we are the ones who create visual pieces or the ones who contemplate them, it’s something we’re exposed to since our childhood, and therefore anyone can do it to some degree. For some, the results won’t be as great as Leonardo da Vinci’s art…or even his 10-minute sketches but…it would be something. Plus what really matters is to enjoy the process, right? Well, actually this very process of drawing, which can be such a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts, in fact, is full of benefits for the one who’s brave enough to venture into it. That’s why today I want to share with you 10 wonderful benefits of drawing, more specifically of drawing birds. I’ve picked these winged subjects because I’ve been drawing them for the past 3 years, and It’s been something truly therapeutical and enlightening. So, in case you were looking for some extra motivation to start drawing these fluffy creatures, here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced after having drawn around 100 bird species:
1. To draw birds is very relaxing!:
The process of drawing these creatures is such a calming experience. If you let go the worries of messing up your drawing and just embrace the shaky lines and happy mistakes as the master Bob Ross would suggest, you’ll find a lot of calm and joy while giving life to these colorful animals. You might even get the feeling of being there in nature contemplating them.
2. It teaches you patience:
Birds are creatures full of many different textures and tiny details, therefore, to portray all their beauty you should take the time to observe them, contemplate their feathers, their beak, the color of their eyes, even their personalities, cause they have personalities just as us, and they can be such hilarious beings. In any case, you’ll need a bit of patience while drawing them, and the more birds you create the more you’ll learn about this wonderful skill.
3. It provides a space for self-reflection:
While you draw all the details of a bird you’ll realize your mind is at ease and you can use this moment for some needed self-reflection, to think of the mysteries of the universe…or just to make weird hypotheses about a series you’ve been watching.
4. It challenges you to pay more attention to details:
After these years drawing birds I’ve realized I’ve become more observant and aware of details, even being quite a perfectionist I’ve felt that my senses are now sharper and this allows me to focus even more on tiny details, and interesting characteristics of every bird, not to mention the insane amount of imperfections in nature…and in my work, which I’ve had to learn to accept in order to actually finish a piece and move into another one.
5. It enhances your connection with nature:
While portraying birds you will probably find yourself more connected to these creatures and therefore with the environment that makes their lives possible. Nature has a wonderful healing effect on us, and even while you’re just drawing it, you’ll be able to experience this soothing effect, you’ll be calmer, your stress levels will lower, all of this, the product of a growing connection with the place where we evolved. For further research about the healing effect of nature in our lives, I recommend you to read The Nature Fix by journalist Florence Williams.
6. You will have endless subjects to draw:
If you suddenly find short of ideas when you want to start a new drawing, well, worry not! If you decide to draw these critters you’ll probably never have this issue again since there are approximately 10,000 bird species in the world! Yes, and in Colombia, my country, you can find over 1,900 of them, which makes it the country with most birds species, an amazing record that hangs beside the one of most biodiverse country in the world according to Proaves.org…Oh Colombia, always showing off its natural marvels. A great reason to come visit by the way!
7. It can get you into birdwatching:
If you’re ready to step up your bird drawing game and want to draw birds that you actually saw and therefore you had the chance to see their detailed feathers, the way they fly and make weird stunts in the air (as bluejays often do), you should definitely try birdwatching. You don’t really need any fancy equipment, just venture in the wilderness…or just a park nearby, and stay long enough so nature gets a bit more used to you and these creatures trust you enough to hang around you for a while. If you love this experience I recommend you to get some binoculars and or a camera with a telephoto lens, then you’d be able to capture beautiful portraits of birds which you could use as inspiration for further drawings. You can check the birds around your location at Ebird.org
8. You can raise awareness of endangered species:
Sadly, there are hundreds of bird species that are currently endangered around the world, which are threatened by deforestation, hunting, climate change, among other causes. Through your drawings, you can help to make visible so many of these species, in order to other people to find out about their beautiful existence, and of course, about their endangered status. According to BirdLife International, there are around 1,375 bird species threatened with extinction (13% percent of the total, roughly 1 in 8). So your help is much needed and it will definitely make a difference.
9. You can sell your art to nature lovers:
If drawing birds becomes your passion, you can always turn it into a profitable activity. There are millions of nature lovers around the world who are looking for new art to decorate their cozy homes with. So, don’t hesitate, frame your winged drawings for the world to contemplate and, as my friend Arolcolors would suggest, go fill the world with art. (Title of an art movement founded by him)
10. It will allow you to connect with nature artists:
The community of nature artists is currently growing at the speed of a hungry Peregrine falcon (yes, the fastest bird, which can reach up to 240miles per hour while diving. fun facts time apparently). This just so you know you won’t be alone in this journey. Be sure to reach out to those artists you admire, and start a conversation. Most of them would love to connect with you and other people who also have a connection with nature. I bet that can turn out in wonderful friendships and, why not, in future artistic collaborations.
So, there you have it. All the wonderful benefits I’ve experienced while drawing birds. Now I encourage you to try it and let us know about how it goes! Visit us on Instagram and feel free to send a Dm telling us about your experience drawing birds and/or to show us your art.