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Ultimate Wing Tutorial by TalkingToMySoul Ultimate Wing Tutorial by TalkingToMySoul
So I've had an obsession with properly drawn wings for ages. I love animals, and the idea of humans with wings is fascinating. But the more experienced I get, the more I realize how anatomically incorrect many wings are. Improper placement, feathers, and number of joints not only make drawings look unrealistic, but irk me in ways only things I'm obsessed with can. This is my latest and greatest study on all things human wings, after hundreds of doodles, several finished sketches, and this derpish design [link] a few months ago. I know not all of it is perfect: keeping in mind this is a fictional concept, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you think it needs improvement, or want more explanation. =)

Repost it wherever you want, help spread the winged love, but ALWAYS LINK BACK TO ME. Thankees.
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:icondsfisher:
dsfisher Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
please add a download link
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:icongekidomamoru:
GekidoMamoru Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Student General Artist
My fursona has wings X3 this is exactly what I need!
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:iconroxabrick:
roxabrick Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015
I love this. I'm not even drawing a winged character, I'm writing one. But I just Have To Know how it works and what it looks like. Thanks.
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:iconsonjagale:
sonjagale Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
Thank you very much for this tutorial. I love fantasy animals and people with wings. But it drives me nuts when people don't think about the proper mechanics of how those wings work. I intend to use this tutorial to help me with my drawings of things such as winged people Pegasus and any other winged animal I decide to create. Again, thank you and well done.
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:iconsolarstormflare:
Solarstormflare Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Student Digital Artist
THANKS!!!!!!!!
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:iconpsychicflame:
psychicflame Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol, ass wings XD



P.S: Do you think an avian human with hummingbird type wings could work? Because I did a little research and I found that hummingbirds have a very fast metabolism and they need to consume a lot of food because of that
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:iconstarfaerienomad:
StarFaerieNomad Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you.
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:iconmissapiphany:
MissApiphany Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
This is so perfect. Bless your wonderful soul!!
*time to work out some character anatomy*
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:iconkonekoart122:
KonekoArt122 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
The "huge sternum" is now the reason my oc has huge boobs. Plus she just does, but...
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:iconnachtigallerator:
Nachtigallerator Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
This is fantastic. And I'm deeply ashamed for not having thought of it, because I already knew half of that as a med student! *Faves to make up for it*

Out of curiosity, what's the muscle above the pectoralis major? I'm thinking trapezoid or sternocleidomastoid, but my bird anatomy obviously needs work and the broad sternal attachment confuses the heck out of me.
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:iconxxbipolarxbearxx:
xxbipolarxbearxx Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I don't think you have any idea how helpful this is. I've scoured the whole of the internet, and this is really the only good tutorial I've found that actually accounts for realistic anatomy. I'm writing a book with angels in it, and though I'll probably end up drawing character at some point when I get bored enough, I just have so much trouble writing well about things that I can't visualize. Have to say that this is really great. Thanks a TON.
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:iconjokecokecs:
Jokecokecs Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Student General Artist
This is fantastic! Do you think the same anatomical structure could be used--or at least modified--for a bat wing structure?
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
Easily! The membrane would stretch down the sides and come to a V-shape in the middle of the back. They'd be about the same length, a bit broader, and the fingers would fold similarly to the folding I depicted here. =)
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:iconseadragonlife:
SeaDragonLife Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012
Thanks for this. I have a winged dragon-human race who I have the hardest time drawing properly.
And now I know I can't have them wear shirts. I get to figure out something better.
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:iconkonekoart122:
KonekoArt122 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Try using something with large slits in the back. 
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Student General Artist
No prob, glad it helps. =)
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:iconviperaglacialis:
ViperaGlacialis Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang! I made the ugly and nonfunctional wings xD
Well this helps
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm glad. =D Don't worry about it, I'm just a freak for anatomy.
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:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012   General Artist
Amqzing tutorial! I love the mistakes. It made me laugh out loud. Nice!!
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks. =D Ass wings are my favorite: they're frustrating, but so "what??" it's funny.
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:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012   General Artist
Yeah~ This guide is awesome! Wings are the bomb! FLY!!~
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks. =)
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:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012   General Artist
My pleasure! :heart:
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I like this, this is good - It has a lot of pointers about what to do and what NOT to do presented in a neat and humorous way. You have an understanding of anatomy and biological mechanics as well as the interest. I've done a lot of research on this subject as well as making a tutorial :) I completely agree with you on any and all poorly drawn wings with the intention of being anatomically "correct".

Your concept is pretty solid and I think you're getting at the right ideas but maaaaaybe some more research could help. I'm glad you mentioned the keeled sternum and the large pectoral/flight muscles that people disregard too often, but I'm not sure about the double jointed arm/wing shoulder - it would hinder mobility of both arms and wings to the point where neither would work right. To have the wings and arms function independently, they need separate units and that may require taking evolutionary action and making one dominant over the other (unless of course you have arm wings then its not an issue). Strong abs/abs in general) aren't necessary; birds (not sure about bats or pterosaurs) have fused vertebrae so they are not bending at the waist anyways and for good reason - more stiffness means more support to the legs and lower body during flight. You don't want a flexible waist with a keeled sternum anyways because that keel is going to stab vital organs whenever they bend over (an alternative to the keeled sternum is a breast plate).

Anyways, I love seeing other people explore this idea of winged humanoids in hopes of maybe learning something that I didn't know.

Wings and clothing.... that'll be the next thing I do xD
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Student General Artist
My idea, which I fleshed out in my head but never in writing, was that the wing joint is dominant, with the arms being severely limited while the wings are in flight. Arm wings are actually present in this: [link]

I see what you mean with the sternum: however, as a humanoid, they need to bend at the waist. ^_^ I'll have to see about re-working that in my spare time.
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Professional Filmographer
The problem with winged humanoids is that humans are just not meant to fly xD I would say that either the arms or the wings would HAVE to be hindered by the other (depending on use) in order to have them both functioning in a 6 limb creature - this isn't an issue with wing arms because the wings don't have to compete with a second arm unit.

It's hard to see on your profile drawing of the winged humanoid skeleton, but it looks like the humerus's are coming out of one joint socket or something like this [link] where there is a second socket in the middle of the scapula - that kinda wouldn't work too well ;) unless you a suggesting that there are two separate units for wing and arm, each equipped with their own scapulars (at least), then I take it back :)

If you're humanoid character must bend at the waist, I would suggest looking into breast plates - they provide surface area but with out the keeled sternum, which would also allow for a more human looking character. There are other ways to get around bending at the waist (ESPECIALLY if the legs and pelvis are primarily human, a flexible waist won't be able to support that in flight unless there are some intense back muscles to hold it up (but even that would take away flexibility from the waist)); you could make the distance between ribcage and pelvis smaller, make the pelvis longer so there is more surface area for the back muscle to attach too OR you can make the hips flexible to compensate for the loss of movement in the waist. That's if you want a more technical looking character - if you're all for looks then go for the 6 pack abs xD
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Technical, definitely: I myself don't even really like the whole "six pack" look. XD You've brought up some excellent points, I'll have to use them for my next concept sketches. /Saves comment to Microsoft

Thanks so much for all the help, and for taking the trouble to write all that out. =)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Professional Filmographer
no problem :) I'm a sucker for hypothetical anatomy :D If you want more research articles/diagrams, scroll through some of the comments people left me on my tutorials [link] I've received some amazing feedback and it's been a wonderful learning experience :)
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow, those are excellent tutorials. =) I especially love the legs, which I was thinking of including, except then I thought it would make said humanoids too much like my harpies. ^_^;; I love the design, and the comments do seem very helpful. =)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Professional Filmographer
thanks :)
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:iconskudde:
Skudde Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012   General Artist
I - love - you.
Seriously, there could be done some practice considering the feathers you draw, but our opinion on unanatomical wings is exactly the same. I enjoyed a lot to see you point out the most common mistakes - which are the worst too by the way. Will people ever learn to draw wings properly? I guess not but let's fight for our feathers anyway! 8D
Oh, your handsome model here who's spreading his wings in the lower left part has quite small wings. Let's hope he doesn't try to fly despite his wings being nice anatomically. :D
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Student General Artist
Yeah, they're quite tiny. =( Space constraints and such... Still, the principle stands. =) Thanks so much for the love, I'm really glad you like it. =D
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:iconxxxmidnightblackxxx:
xXxMidnightBlackxXx Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
WOW this is really great and very helpful.
It would be great if you could make one with bat wing, I can't fined any good ones anywhere.
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm planning a vampire tutorial, so I'll probably include a section with bat wings, since so many people have asked for it. =)
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:iconxxxmidnightblackxxx:
xXxMidnightBlackxXx Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Sounds good,it would be very helpful.
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:iconblueflamedphoenix:
BlueFlamedPhoenix Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
This is great and I totally agree on the fact that hiding wings will never be viable for a human! Also finally someone else noticed the butt wings!
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks! Characters like Angel in X-Men,their wings just suddenly appear, wings don't work like that. ^_^ Butt wings are a scourge upon the winged world. =)
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:iconthe---puppetmaster:
The---Puppetmaster Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an amazing tutorial. Made better by the fact that it's funny as well.
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you. ^_^ It was a ton of fun to do.
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:iconthe---puppetmaster:
The---Puppetmaster Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can tell.



By the way, this is Gina. You know, from school?
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:iconanimepegasus:
animepegasus Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
Great tutorial, I've been trying to get some time to practice wings, but didn't have a tutorial yet on the joints and feather types, I have been watching birds a lot lately to figure some things out. I think this is going to help out a lot. Thank you!
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm glad it could help. =) Watching birds is great too though, it shows individual positions instead of just technique. =)
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:iconclumsydemonwithfire:
clumsydemonwithfire Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012   General Artist
this is so helpful, it defies words! thank you for sharing!!! :D
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much. =D
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:iconclumsydemonwithfire:
clumsydemonwithfire Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012   General Artist
you're very welcome!!! :D
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:iconmisako93:
Misako93 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012
I don't think I'll actually need this -not right away, at least, but you never know- but it's AWESOME. Very well thought, and researched, and detailed.
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you. =D Took ages, but obsession can do wonderful things for the attention span. ;P
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:iconwolfshadowyuma:
WolfShadowYuma Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
So what about succubi wings, sometime there at the hips. :/
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:icontalkingtomysoul:
TalkingToMySoul Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Student General Artist
They would need ligaments connecting them to the upper body to have any hope of balance. And then there's the issue of how the joints would fit in...
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