Spread Your Wings & Draw Birds

Two years ago, April 8, 2015, I was in rehab. It was not because I needed to get over an addiction, but it was because I needed to learn how to walk all over again after receiving a full hip replacement at the age of 23. It was a difficult period of my life, I had to deal with daily injections to keep my blood circulating properly since I was not getting the proper exercise while bed-bound and every step I took was shaky whenever I did try to move.

Let’s not forget to mention the lack of internet service when I was in a rehabilitation center that catered to people who were in their late 70s.

Draw a Bird Day is a holiday that originated in a hospital. In 1943, seven-year-old British Dorie Cooper went to visit her war veteran uncle in the hospital. The tale goes on to tell how Dorie asked her uncle to draw her something as a creative way to get his mind off of his suffering and impending surgeries. This simple action inspired other war veterans and the hospital staff to use art as an escape from the dreary environment that also doubled as colorful pieces to decorate the white walls.

Three years later, tragedy struck and Dorie was killed by an automobile. In memory of  Dorie’s impact on the lives of many, the staff made April 8th Draw a Bird Day in her honor. You can read more about this tale at Draw a Bird Day’s site.

So how does one celebrate this holiday?

You don’t have to draw well. That’s the beauty of this holiday. The point is to simply create for the sake of creating. Originally in 1943, the war veterans held friendly competitions to see who could draw the best bird on the floor. However, if you feel as if you can’t round up enough people to simply go outside and draw, then stay indoors and do what I did. Gather your art supplies and draw a bird, any bird.


My father owns a pair of Sun Conures, Habana and Hatuey. They are rather antisocial birds with guests like myself, but they adore my father. They sleep with him, they watch the news with him and screech at high pitches that bug the heck out of me.

However, they are pretty birds and are the ones I’m most familiar with.

I used a red Prismacolor pencil to sketch out my drawing. I went with this color instead of your typical normal lead pencil because I wanted the picture to have an overall ‘warm’ look to it. So any residue of the sketch that I’d erase would work well with the copics I planned to use.

Once done with my sketch I used my Pigma micron pen to do the outlines. I started out with basic thin lines first to do the overall outline and added details as I saw fit. Once content with my drawing, I erased the sketch with my Stradler Eraser.

Since my camera decided to die, unfortunately, I couldn’t record my progress with my copics. Though in the future I do plan on recording my coloring process so you could see from start to finish as I color and render my images to what you see as the final product.

As I mentioned before, you don’t have to be amazing at drawing to participate. Just take 15 minutes of the day to sit down and draw a bird. Any bird at all.

It’s time for you to spread your creative wings and fly my friends!

Draw a Bird Day

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