How to Draw an Owl Step by Step
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on drawing an owl. In order to draw it, you need to know the structure of the wing and feathers. There are different types of wings: small and fluffy ones that cover the head, chest and beginnings of the legs; medium feathers that can be found in the upper part of the wings; long feathers that grow in the middle and the lower part of the wings. The feather structure was explained in the tutorial here.
Step 1. Draw a detailed design of your owl. Draw the head, body and a wing in thin lines. Click on the drawing to make it larger.
Step 2. Draw the beak, legs and feathers.
Step 3. Draw the eyes and pupils that look like incomplete circles. Rub out the outline and draw the feathers of different lengths instead. Draw the legs and the branch.
Step 4. The source of light in this drawing is in the left side, that’s why the right side of the drawing should be darker. Add some diagonal lines on the head that will be the soft little feathers. Pay attention to the direction of the lines as they convey the illusion of the depth of the shapes. Add some feathers of different shape and length on the wing. Add a few curved lines on the feet to show the direction of the tiny soft feathers’ growth.
Step 5. Remember that the shading lines for the feathers should be different in the length and shade. The outlines shouldn’t look too firm but more like a feather shape (uneven) to look more real.
Using 2H pencil, shade the feathers on the left and central part of the feet and the lower part of the body. Then draw the dividing shadow in the right side with a 2B pencil. Then using 2B and 4B pencils, add dark shades on the feathers in the lower body, right shoulder, under the beak and wing. Add the outer rim around the irises of the eyes.
Step 6. Shade the outer rims with a 2B pencil. Then using a 6B pencil shade the pupil, but leave a highlight there. Shade the beak in darker tones.
Step 7. Colour the eye and the beak with 2H and HB pencils.
Step 8. Use a hard lead pencil to add more lines on the head. Use a 2H pencil for the lighter areas and 2B and 4B pencils for the darker areas. Add a few tiny ovals on the feathers on the forehead and the sides of the head. You can see how it should look on the enlarged image on the next picture. If you want to highlight some of them, then use your eraser to light the central parts of the feathers.
Step 9. Using a sharp hard lead pencil and short lines, draw soft fluffy feathers on the chest and the legs of the owl.
Step 10. Shade the feathers on the tail. Each feather has dark shades on the right side that gradually become lighter on the left side. Add a few diagonal lines on some of the feathers. Look closely and you will see that diagonal lines on the feathers highlight the details and make the drawing look complete.
Step 11. Shade the feathers on the upper side of the wing making the area at the top darker, because the owl’s head shadows it.
Step 12. Use different pencils and lines of different length to show the feathers’ texture on the upper side of the wing. Some feathers have light areas on the tips.
Step 13. Add dark shadows on the talons while leaving highlights. Shade the branch with different lines to create the texture.
Step 14. Add more lines if you need, so that the drawing looks complete. Use eraser to create light areas and add more shading to create darker areas. Write the date and sign the drawing.
How to Draw an Owl with a Pencil
1. Start with the simple outline.
2. Draw the shape of the owl’s wings.
3. How to draw the owl’s head.
4. Erase the initial outlines.
5. How to draw an owl. The final step.
6. Drawing an owl. Adding the shades and background.