Drawing a brown pelican can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially for those who love birds and nature. While it may seem daunting to capture the complex features of this magnificent creature on paper, following a few simple steps can help you achieve a beautiful and realistic drawing. With a little practice and patience, you can create a stunning piece of art that showcases the unique beauty and charm of the brown pelican.

Before we start with the drawing process, it’s important to first observe the bird in its natural habitat. Take note of its body proportions, feather patterns, and distinctive features, such as its oversized bill and throat pouch. You can also look for reference photos or videos online to get a better idea of the bird’s movements and behavior. Remember that drawing is all about observation and interpretation, so take your time and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and styles until you find what works best for you. With that said, let’s dive into the steps for drawing a brown pelican!

How to Draw a Brown Pelican – A Step-by-Step Guide

Pelicans are magnificent creatures and drawing them can be challenging, but at the same time, it can be a great way to develop your artistic skills. In this guide, we will show you how to draw a brown pelican in easy-to-follow steps. So grab a pencil, paper, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Understanding the anatomy of a brown pelican

Before you start drawing, it’s important to understand the anatomy of a brown pelican. This will help you create an accurate and realistic drawing. Brown pelicans have elongated bodies, long bills, and large wingspan. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these features before starting.

Step 2: Sketching the basic shapes

Start by sketching the basic shapes of the pelican. Draw a circle for the head, oval for the body, and triangles for the wings. Make sure the wings are large enough to accommodate the size of the pelican’s body.

Step 3: Adding details to the head

Next, add details to the head. Draw a long, curved bill, a round eye, and a small curve for the nostril. Make sure to take your time with this step as the head is the most important part of the pelican.

Step 4: Sketching the body and tail

Now it’s time to sketch the body and tail. Brown pelicans are generally brown in color, with darker feathers around the wings and tail. Pay attention to the body shape and the feather patterns.

Step 5: Adding details to the wings

Once you sketch the body, add details to the wings. Brown pelicans have broad wings with a unique pattern of primary feathers. Take your time creating this patterning, and make sure it’s accurate.

Step 6: Adding the legs and feet

Sketch the legs and feet of the brown pelican. Their feet have webbing between them, which helps them swim and catch fish. Take your time and make sure the proportions are correct.

Step 7: Adding shading and texture

Now that the basic sketch is finished, it’s time to add shading and texture. Shade the body and wings using short, light strokes, and add texture to the feathers. This will give the pelican a more realistic and three-dimensional appearance.

Step 8: Adding highlights

Once you have shaded the pelican, add highlights. This will give it a more realistic and vibrant look. Add highlights to the wings, beak, and eyes.

Step 9: Adding the background

Now that the pelican is done, it’s time to add the background. Brown pelicans are frequently found in coastal areas, so you can add a beach or water in the background. This helps give context to your drawing and make it more realistic.

Step 10: Final touches

After the background is done, it is time to take a final look and add any finishing touches. Go over the pelican once again, making sure everything is well-defined and polished.

In conclusion, drawing a brown pelican can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Take your time, utilize the guide above and enjoy the process. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep at it and who knows, you might soon be a master pelican artist!

Materials Needed to Draw a Brown Pelican

Drawing a brown pelican could be an exhilarating experience once you have the appropriate tools in your possession. Before delving into the steps required to draw the bird, you should ensure that you have the necessary materials. Here are some of the tools you need to kick start your drawing:

Paper and Pencil

To draw the Brown pelican, you need a piece of white paper and a pencil. You may also choose to use a sketchpad and high-quality color pencils.


An eraser comes in handy for erasing any mistakes or eliminating any sketch lines that are not part of the final image.

Reference Image of a Brown Pelican

You can easily Google search for images of brown pelicans and print them out as a reference before starting.

Drawing Board

A drawing board or any flat surface will serve as an excellent working surface while drawing.

Compass and Protractor

These tools will assist in obtaining accurate shapes and measurements of the pelican’s features.

Paintbrush and Paints

You can opt to include color in your drawing of the pelican, for which you will need paintbrushes and appropriate shades of paint.

Light Source

An excellent source of natural or artificial light can create amusing shadows for the bird’s feathers.

Patience and Patience

Drawing is a process, and it requires considerable levels of patience. Don’t be in a hurry to complete it. Take your time to ensure that your final image is as realistic as possible.

Creativity and Imagination

The key to an excellent drawing involves inputting your creativity and imagination into the final image. You have to add your personal touch to the bird, making the art feel more genuine to you.


Lastly, the essential tool you need in your possession is PRACTICE. The more you shuffle through these steps, the better your bird drawing will become. Practice continuously to enhance your artistic skills.

With these tools in your possession, we can begin shuffling through the steps required to draw a brown pelican.

Materials Needed for Drawing a Brown Pelican

Drawing a brown pelican is a fun activity for all ages. Before we get started with the process, you need to gather a few materials. Here is a list of things that you will need:

Drawing paperMake sure the size of the paper is suitable for the drawing.
PencilYou can use mechanical pencil or conventional pencils according to your preference.
EraserTo remove any mistakes made while sketching.
SharpenerTo sharpen your pencils and make them pointy again.
Color pencils or watercolorsTo add some life to your drawing and make it more realistic.

Detailing the Anatomy of a Brown Pelican

The brown pelican has a unique and distinctive anatomy that sets it apart from other birds. It has a long beak that is hooked and a large throat pouch that it uses to catch fish. Here are some of the details that you need to keep in mind while drawing a brown pelican:

Beak and Head

The beak of a brown pelican is its most noticeable feature. It is long and curved with a sharp tip that it uses to catch fish. The head of the pelican is small compared to the size of its body and has a distinctive crest on top.


The body of a brown pelican is big and bulky with short legs and large webbed feet. The wingspan of the pelican can be up to 7ft. which gives it an impressive sight while flying.

Throat Pouch

The throat pouch of a brown pelican is one of its unique features. The pelican uses it to scoop up the fish from the water. The pouch is elastic and can expand to accommodate the fish that it has caught.


The feathers of the brown pelican are brown and white with a distinctive pattern. The head and neck are usually brown while the rest of the body is white. The feathers on the tail are long and pointed.


The eyes of the brown pelican are small and dark. They are located on the sides of the head and give the pelican a wide range of vision.

Steps in Drawing a Brown Pelican

Now that you have gathered the required materials and learned the anatomy of a brown pelican, it is time to start drawing. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Sketch Out the Basic Shape

Use a light pencil to sketch out the basic shape of the brown pelican. Draw the body, wings, head, and beak according to the composition you have in mind.

Step 2: Add the Details

Once you have sketched out the basic shape, start adding the details. Draw the eyes, feathers, and the unique features of the bird like its throat pouch and crest on the head.

Step 3: Erase the Guidelines

Erase the guidelines that you used to sketch out the basic shape of the pelican. This is the time to make the final touches and bring the drawing to life.

Step 4: Add Some Color

If you want to make your drawing more realistic, add some color. Use color pencils or watercolors to add some texture and shading to the brown pelican.

Step 5: Frame Your Artwork

Finally, frame your artwork and display it somewhere where everyone can see it. You can also take a picture of your drawing and share it on social media.

Tips to Enhance Your Drawing Skills

Drawing a brown pelican can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you want to enhance your drawing skills, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Draw Every Day

The more you draw, the better you will become. Set aside some time every day to practice your drawing skills.

Observe Your Surroundings

Observe the world around you and take inspiration from your surroundings. This will help you to come up with unique compositions.

Try Different Techniques

Experiment with different drawing techniques like cross-hatching, stippling, and smudging. This will help you to find your own style of drawing.

Attend a Drawing Class

Consider signing up for a drawing class or workshop. This will give you the opportunity to learn from a professional artist and get feedback on your work.

Have Fun

Most importantly, have fun with your artwork. Drawing is a form of expression and creativity, and it should be an enjoyable experience.

That’s how you draw a brown pelican

Drawing a brown pelican may seem daunting at first, but with careful observation and practice, you can create a lifelike representation of this majestic bird. Remember to take your time, pay attention to details, and have fun with it! Thanks for reading this article, and be sure to visit us again for more art tips and tutorials. Happy drawing!