How to Draw Angels Step-by-Step

By Buffy Naillon
Using a grid helps you recreate complicated works of art featuring angels.

Angels represent the promise of heaven for many people; thus, many people keep angel art in their homes. Additionally, because of its spiritual content, many artists like to draw angel art. If you count yourself among the people who like angel art and would like to learn how to draw angels step by step, you might try using a simple art technique that many beginning artists learn. This method teaches you how to develop an artist's eye while providing you with a proven structure for your drawing.

Gather pictures of angels; you'll use these as reference pictures to look at as you draw. Find these in art books, on the Web or on greeting cards. To create an interesting drawing, choose pictures that feature an angel watching over a child or angels in flight. Look for pictures that are about 8 inches by 10 inches. Take the picture to a printer and have it enlarged if it's not big enough.

Draw grid squares on your angel picture. Use your ruler and create squares measuring 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch.

Make a grid on your paper that features the same dimensions and the same number of squares. Use light pencil strokes to draw the lines.

Look at your angel picture and find the grid square where the top of the angel's wing begins. Count the squares from the side and from the top to get an exact location. For example, you'll find the right square if you count down three squares from the top and six squares from the side.

Count the squares on your paper until you find the square in the same location on your paper's grid.

Study the lines within the square that makes up the angel's wing. Observe how they interact with the lines of the grid square. Notice the curves or angles of the lines as well. Once you have a grasp on this, draw lines on your paper's grid that look like the lines that form the angel's wing. When you're done, the lines filling the square of the gridded paper should match the appearance of the lines that make up the angel's wing in that grid square.

Draw the feathers of the angel's wing, the angel's halo, her eyes and the other details of the angel drawing; draw in each square methodically, using the grid just as you did to draw the angel's wing.

Erase the grid on your paper before you shade the drawing.

Sketch a series of parallel lines close together to shade the drawing. Artists call this method hatching. The farther apart you draw the lines, the lighter the shaded areas appear. Look at where your angel picture has light and dark areas. Mark these areas in on your drawing with a series of light lines. Once you have these lines marked down, darken the areas that need to be darkened either by drawing more parallel lines next to the ones you've already drawn or by drawing a series of lines that cross your parallel lines; this second method is called crosshatching.

About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.