Just a little sketch of your average, ordinary house sparrow. Drawing birds is always a fun challenge, especially when tackling one of the more “mundane” species like this guy. Birds in general are always tough to sell in an image when compared to mammals, as they lack any discernible musculature (thank you, thick feather layers) and they’re more or less incapable of any dynamic movement (fused vertebra will do that). When drawing something that’s not as sensational as a raptor or as bizzaire as one of the giant flightless birds, you really need to get creative on what to play up to grab the viewers’ interest.
What do I choose in these instances? Feather groupings.
Feathers are all divided into specific groups, with specific shapes, forms, functions, and insertion points in relation to each other, not terribly unlike muscles. They’re a blast to design up, and a good understanding of the feather groups and how they interact can add quite a bit to a drawing.