View Full Version : wings -- reference images??

10-29-2002, 08:29 PM
This is my first post to this particular forum *my first post to wetcanvas in a long time--been away for a while*...

I was just wondering if anyone knew where i can find some good reference images, of wings. I tried on this site already and didn't have much luck... I'm looking for either faery-type wings or angel-type wings, preferably seen from the back. I have a few different drawings i've been working on *with little success* that show the back of the subject... and i'd like to be able to make the wings look like they come out of the back as part of the being, not like their just stuck on.

I'm going to be uploading one of the drawings (thus far unfinished) soon, so i might add a link to it later. And i think one or two of the other drawings are posted on my fantasy art gallery down below in my signature, if anyone is interested.

Thanks for any suggestions :i)

10-29-2002, 08:35 PM
I swear by the Google image search located here. (http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=)

It is a part of their search engine. Just type in what you are looking for.

Good luck.

10-29-2002, 10:50 PM
Yes, google is like one of the best places to get images! Whenever I need something, just type it in and boom I have 500 images at my disposal! For your wings, I would suggest looking at animal wings which closely imitate the ones you desire to draw. Angel wings might mean bird wings, so look for photos, even diagrams of the feather lay-outs you can find in bird watching/identification books. Faerie wings might mean looking at insect wings, like the dragonfly. Also, check out the reference image site for one of my former projects, there might be a few images there you'll find handy/ here's the link

Welcome to the forum, and good luck on your drawings :D We'll want to see them when you're done ;)

10-30-2002, 10:01 PM
Here is the main drawing i'm working on that i'm seeking reference images for... My main problem is i haven't found any pictures where the wings are in this particular pose... although i'm sure i have seen some drawn this way, so i don't think it's theoretically impossible (is it?).


(i was told by one person that the shaft [er the part first coming out of the back] is too small compared to the rest of the wing's size... not sure.)

And thanks for your suggestions. Found a few images that were kinda helpful... still nothing in that position yet though.

10-30-2002, 10:07 PM
Hi Taylia,

Are you going for bat-type wings, or bird-type wings here? I can't really tell from the drawing, they are angular like a bat's wing but seem to be feathered like a bird's.

At any rate, both types of wing still have the same basic structure, and I think your biggest problem is you're missing a joint in the 'arm' of the wing. I'll try and draw some sketches here in a minute to try and explain what I mean.


10-30-2002, 10:59 PM
Okay, here's a quick and dirty sketch of a bird's wing.


The important thing to remember when drawing a wing is that it's essentially a modified arm. I drew the skeleton in to demonstrate this - see how there's an elbow, a wrist, and modified fingers inside a wing.

Also notice how the primary feathers are roughly parallel with the line of the hand/finger bones.

Here's another rough sketch of a wing partially folded.


See how the curve of the elbow joint is seen when the wing begins to fold. Also, the primary feathers continue to lay parallel to the hand/finger bones - they fold neatly together pointing down when a wing is furled, not outwards.

A few other things to note if you're going for realistic wings - the top of the wing (the wrist) is never as angular as you've drawn it in a bird's wing. There is actually a lot of feather and tissue there making it look much more rounded. It doesn't come to a point. A bat's wing however will look pointed there, with the thumb claw sticking out. Also, the secondary feathers are roughly the same length all the way down the wing up to the back of the bird (or the human, if you're putting the wings on a human). They don't get shorter and taper up as they get closer to the body. If they did so, a bird wouldn't be able to fly.

Now, I don't want you to think I am nit-picking your drawing, because it's actually quite good. But you did say you wanted it to look possible, so I'm just trying to explain bird anatomy to you a bit. This is fantasy after all, and you don't HAVE to draw angel wings to look just a like a bird's. :)

I've actually given a bit of thought to the idea of a winged human. Y'all know how much I enjoy skeletal diagrams. Well the fact is a human would need a heck of a lot of re-engineering to make wings AND arms possible together. Maybe I'll work on it sometime. :)


10-30-2002, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by DraigAthar
Okay, here's a quick and dirty sketch of a bird's wing.


holy hell. that's not a dirty sketch, that's beautiful.

you know wayyy too much about wings...and you're waaay too informative.

amy, you're a goddess of the forums. a winged goddess.


10-30-2002, 11:18 PM
LOL, thanks Maldrin. I've been a bird lover for as long as I can remember. I've got a pet parrot, so I've got bird anatomy right next to me all day, heh. When I was a little girl, I used to wish on dandelion puffs for wings. :)


10-30-2002, 11:39 PM
Here, while I'm at it, have a couple of photos of my parrot, Cloudy. :) I found a couple of her having a good flap, dunno if they'll be useful but hey, can't pass up a chance to show off my Cloudy. :)




10-30-2002, 11:47 PM
she's beauuutiful!

aptly named, and really sweet looking!

how cool!

exotic birds are just too keen!


10-31-2002, 03:54 PM
Thanks so much Amy...

Truthfully i was originally going for bat-type wings... actually dragon wings (i'm going to be adding a dragon in behind her), but i figured it might be better to have her wings a different style than the dragon's... donno.

Anyway, thanks. Your "sketches" are really helpful. Remind me of a school project i had to do in middle school ("how birds fly") i had some similar drawings in.

Ps. Any good dragon artist around? I've only tried to draw dragons a few times, always seem to have problems with those too.
LOL (I'm best at mermaids and winged cats! :cat: )

10-31-2002, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by taylia

Ps. Any good dragon artist around?

Heh, well I certainly like to try. ;)

There are tons of dragons to be found in this forum, have a browse:



p.s. I posted a diagram of a bat wing for a separate thread a while back, if you want to go look: http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=60632

10-31-2002, 07:07 PM
You should check out amy's sculptures :D She does amazing dragons!

11-02-2002, 05:17 AM
"Here, while I'm at it, have a couple of photos of my parrot, Cloudy. I found a couple of her having a good flap, dunno if they'll be useful but hey, can't pass up a chance to show off my Cloudy."

.......I know off the subject but just had to say I LOVE your African gray. A Congo I believe?.very beautiful!!

BTW sorry, I have no clue how to properly quote things.

11-02-2002, 08:10 AM

Yup she's a CAG. And to quote things, you just hit the little button that says 'quote' at the bottom right of every post (right next to 'edit'). It'll insert the quoted text into your reply for you. :)


11-11-2009, 05:48 PM
Wonderful diagrams and photos Amy!

MSandie, it is fantasy, do what you want :) but if you want it a little bit more realistic and like the shape you have, go for bat/dragon wings. I don't think it would matter for your dragon and human to have the same type of wings, do them different colours to make each stand out on their own.

12-11-2009, 02:03 AM
You can also try looking up butterflies and dragonflies. These will also give you a different take on the wing.