How to Draw an Angel: Cartoon Techniques and More

By Alina Bradford

Emil Holárek - Angel with a harp
By Emil Holárek ( [Public domain]
Angels are a harder subject to draw because they incorporate human characteristics and the characteristics of a bird. These two subjects are harder to draw for beginners and advanced artists alike. This article will break down the basics of drawing angels, from simple cartoons and sketches, to more advanced angels.

The Cartoon Angel

The cartoon angels shown in the pictures are simple and easy. The female was made by sketching a simple dress and an outstretched arm. The wings were made by making overlapping loops. This process was done in fast, fluid strokes. There was some simple color and shading added with watercolor washes.

Angel wings

Often halos are not needed when drawing angels. The wings should be enough to let the viewer know what kind of being is in the drawing. If you opt for a halo you may want just a halo of light instead of the traditional gold hoop. Other artists have given their angels halos of greenery, barbs, birds, and other creative things.

The Baby Angel

The baby angel was made by sketching a chubby baby and adding the simple wings in the example picture. Remember that babies have larger heads than adults. The babies’ head is around 1/3 of its body. The eyes are very close to the same size and shape of an adult’s.

Add shadows to the folds of the babies’ fat rolls. Make sure to use one direction of light as your light source for simple drawings. Washes of watercolor were added for a pop of color.

To learn more about drawing this type of angel see: How to Draw a Baby.

Advanced Angels

Advanced angels are more detailed and thought out. The painting of the advanced angel was sketched first, scanned, and then painted in an art program. The wings were made to look like over lapping feathers. Each feather is detailed.

Wings can be attached to the angel in several ways. Many artists give the wings fleshy hinges that attach to the back’s shoulder blades. Others simply draw the wings, melding them directly into the skin.

Wings can be done in several ways as well. Many people make wings look like bird wings, but an interesting twist is to make wings that look like dragon wings. This often gives the “fallen angel” look to the angel. If you go this route be sure to add veins and muscles for a realistic touch.

As you can see, there are many different creative ways to draw an angel. No matter which one you choose to draw, make sure that you rely on basic drawing principals to make a convincing drawing.


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