I draw and paint a lot of birds. I work with a lot of dead birds in my taxidermy sculptures. The funny thing is that I don’t like birds.
They’re scaly-footed, chirpy, smelly, disgusting creatures.
The only bird I have ever met that I liked was this one baby chicken my friend had. And even that bird, I didn’t like being near it.
They seem as if they’re all lice ridden. Their beaks frighten me. Feathers are kind of disgusting.
And yet- they’re so great to draw. The feather layers make the shape of the body apparent. Back shading was never so purposeful. Their wings make for a really nice repetitive rhythm. Their faces are strangely constructed and their beaks a perfect chance to play with point and fade.
Dragon feet and bird feet are very similar. The scaly toes, curled talons. The gestures. Both are hard for me to draw.
But you can get complex or simplified and stylized with feathers and make a good bird.
They almost always have a really dynamic pose, too, which makes them easy to draw. Lots of long curved lines repeating and radiating.
I wish I liked real birds as much as illustrated ones.