By definition, feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering of birds, which makes them unique from other living groups. Usually, feathers cover most of the bird’s body, although sometimes, they only arise on certain well-defined parts of the skin. They help birds in flight, thermal insulation, and waterproofing. Its coloring also aids in communication and protection from other animals.
As time goes by, feathers have evolved into a diversity of colors and forms, along with the existence of different kinds of species in the bird family. So we have gathered some of the most beautiful feather illustrations that you can download and use for your creative projects or however these illustrations may serve you. Feel free to browse our collection and also check out our Pixel Art Illustrations for more ideas!
Peacock Feather Illustration
Black Feather Illustration
Eagle Feather Illustration
Swan Feather Illustration
Vector Feather Illustration
Types of Feathers
The classification of feathers being discussed here is based on their structure and location on the birds body. Through these, how birds use them are being identified. Feathers usually fall into one of these categories:
- Wing feathers. They are characterized by windproof surfaces with an asymmetric shape to prevent midair twisting and used especially for flight.
- Tail feathers. Most tail feathers are similar to flight feather in structure but are arranged in a fan shape to support precision steering.
- Contour feathers. They cover the body and streamline its shape, where the waterproof tips are exposed and the fluffy bases are tucked in the body.
- Semiplume feathers. Mostly hidden beneath other feathers on the body, they create a fluffy insulating structure which helps birds stay warm.
- Down feathers. Similarly structured to semiplumes but relatively short and positioned closest to the body where they trap body heat.
- Filoplume feathers. They are short simple feathers which functions like mammal whiskers to sense the position of the contour feathers.
- Bristles. Bristles are the simplest feathers which are most commonly found on the head because they are used to protect the bird’s eyes and face.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our Owl Illustrations for more bird ideas!
Vintage Feather Illustration
Ethnic Feather Illustration
Colorful Feather Illustration
Watercolor Feather Illustration
Feather Pen Illustration
What Do Feathers Symbolize
People use feathers in a lot of ways for several various reasons. Let’s see how feathers are used in different cultures and what they mean.
- Freedom. Feathers will always be associated with birds and birds have the ability to fly where the wind takes them. They are not restricted by many boundaries and limitations which makes them easily the symbol of freedom.
- Travel. This does not just mean physical travel but also travelling with the mind and spirit. Birds are lithe and light; therefore, they can go to different places wherever and whenever they want, with ease.
- Inspiration. Because of the bird’s connection with the vast and limitless skies, feathers can also serve as an inspiration and reminder that there are we can achieve possibilities if we keep on flying.
- Gratitude. Ancient tribes and even some people nowadays use fowls and birds in their rituals and other sacred ceremonies as offerings of gratitude for a bounty harvest or blessed life.
- Power. It is quite a general knowledge that American Indians use feathers to adorn their leader’s head or body in forms of clothing. The level of one’s power is determined with the number of feathers he is wearing.
If you’re looking for more illustration ideas, don’t forget to check out other Graphic Design Illustrations available on this website.