How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 6

How to Draw a Cardinal

Eager to learn how to draw a cardinal?

Beginners will benefit from this simple step by step lesson for learning how to draw a cardinal. This easy cardinal tutorial is perfect for fairly young students looking to learn how to draw.

All drawing steps are included here which make it fun and simple to follow! Plan for this drawing to take about 20 minutes, but the drawing process may actually take more time if a background is created in addition to the subject matter.

Finally learn to draw your very own birds by following this tutorial at your own pace. …and now for the how to draw a cardinal lesson…


  • Pencil
  • Drawing Paper
  • Crayons or Colored Pencils
  • Black Marker (optional)
  • How to Draw a Cardinal Printable PDF (see bottom of lesson)
How To Draw A Cardinal: All Steps

In today’s step by step lesson, we will discover how to draw a cardinal on paper. The location and proportion of each part will be considered in each step of the tutorial. Note that the blue outlines are used to indicate the new shapes being drawn in each in each of the steps.

Time Needed: 20 minutes

  1. Outline The Body

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 1

    First, draw the base or the cardinal’s body by creating an oval shape in the middle of your paper.

  2. Draw The Wing

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 2

    Then, add the wing at the right side of the body. The wing will overlap your first outline.

  3. Add The Tail

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 3

    Next, draw the cardinal’s long tail below the wings.

  4. Draw The Head, Eyes And Beak

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 4

    The cardinal has an inverted triangular-shaped head. It also has a feathery head, just like in the demonstration. Do not forget to add eyes and beak which should be drawn sideways.

  5. Add The Feet

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 5

    Lastly, draw the bird’s tiny feet under its body.

  6. Complete The Drawing

    How To Draw A Cardinal: Step 6

    Use red crayon for most of the cardinal. Then, add black to its face and yellow orange to its beak and feet.

How to Draw a Cardinal PDF Download

Click the link below to view or download this drawing lesson. The PDF is a printable drawing lesson for How to Draw a Cardinal. The last page of the downloadable PDF includes a coloring book page with just the outlines and an extension exercise for prompting kids to get creative!

Caring Red Birds

Cardinals are one of the most colorful birds in North America, and their song is just as unique.

The male cardinal has a bright red body, with a face that looks like a black mask. The female is a duller red, and can can look almost a gray-brown with a lighter shade on her wings and tail feathers. Female cardinals have two color variations: brown or grayish brown with red coloring on her head and breast.

Cardinals are plentiful in North America. They are characterized by their bright red feathers and their crest on their head.

Cardinals are ground feeders that eat mainly insects, seeds and berries. Cardinals will also share food with their mate.

It’s fun to see a male cardinal feeding a female cardinal! They really take care of each other!

Cardinals live in a variety of habitats. They can be found in woods, suburban gardens, and even hedgerows.

If you are awake when the sun first rises you can enjoy cardinals sitting on the tops of trees. Cardinals enjoy getting that first morning sunlight on them while they sing the new day their good-morning songs!

What are Cardinal Birds?

The cardinal is a bright red bird commonly found throughout North and South America. Male cardinals boast a bright red shade with a crest on its head and black feathers on its face. The female cardinal on the other hand has pale brown feathers with shades of red at its tips.

cardinal bird on a tree

This bird is known to be very territorial. They can become extremely agitated when something or someone approaches its nest. Their territorial instinct even leads them to believe that the reflections of themselves they see in shiny cars are intruders.

cardinal birds wings spread out

They were once found in the southeastern parts of the United States, where climate is kinder to their species. They are now abundantly found around the United States, parts of Canada, and as far south as Mexico due to habitat expansion!

The Daily Life of the Cardinal Bird

The cardinal’s diet mainly consists of seeds, fruits, and insects. They are said to eat over a hundred different types of fruits and nuts. Food such as sunflower seeds, blueberries, and grapes are said to be part of its diet too.


They are a monogamous species but are sometimes found to mate with others. During courtship, a male cardinal will bring small fruits and seeds to the female. The female cardinal will then choose a mate based on the male’s courting, singing, and coloring.

a pair of cardinal birds

The cardinal bird lives in nests made of twigs, leaves, and stems among others. These nests are typically hidden from predators. They can be found along forest lines, bushes, and even in residential areas!

a photo of cardinal birds in the snow

Cool Cardinal Bird Facts!

A genetic mutation that causes the cardinal’s feathers to turn yellow is rare. It is estimated that there are about only 2,000 yellow cardinals at the moment.

The most famous character in a video game called  “Angry Birds” is modeled after a cardinal. Most probably because of its short-temper, just like the territorial instinct of its real life counterpart.

Close up photo of a cardinal bird

The cardinal’s name is derived from bishops of the Catholic faith. These religious men are known to wear bright red clothing with tall hats.


  1. Linda Walker says:

    Thanks so much for letting me find your website. I am going to draw a cardinal on a piece of wood and give it to my son for Christmas. You have a fantastic website.

    1. John Morfis says:

      Thank you and wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

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