Chicken Scratch

This bird drawing is interesting to me. It looks like it was constructed a bit like the scene it depicts – chicken scratch. It was drawn by the prolific children’s book illustrator Walter Crane (1845–1915).

In 1900, Crane published Line and Form, a book that provides drawing and painting instructions. This chicken drawing was used to illustrate techniques when using a brush. He mentioned the mastery of Japanese artists in their use of broad brush washes and emphatic brush touches. With our pair of chickens, you can almost see the brush strokes that are used to create the feathers on each of the birds. Notice how the bodies are the bird are shaped by light and dark brush strokes without using a true outline.

Chicken scratch is a fun drawing of a rooster and a hen pecking on the ground in search of food. The rooster almost appears to be standing guard over the hen while she takes a turn at eating. Crane described this as a pure and simple drawing. I call it a wonderful public domain chicken drawing that could add a great deal of drama to your own project.

Have fun with it and do let me know if you post your creative geniusness online somewhere.

drawing of chickens scratching in search of food

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.