How to Draw An Owl – Step by Step

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In this step by step guide, I will show you how to draw a cute Owl. I will go over how I established the general form of the owl, how to clean up your lines and how to color your drawing.

Drawing this owl is quite easy as long as you follow the guide closely but before we get started you will need the right materials.

What Materials Do You Need?

For this drawing, I used an HB Pencil and a B3 Pencil. But any Pencil, that is graded between HB and B6 will be just fine.

For erasing I almost always use a kneadable eraser. I highly recommend getting a kneadable eraser and not a regular one for two main reasons.

One is that you can use the kneadable eraser to lighten up graphite lines instead of completely erasing them and the second one is, that you can use the kneadable eraser without accidentally damaging the your paper in the process.

For the outlines, I used a Copic Marker in black with a brush pen. You can use any black marker as long as it doesn´t smear or bleed on the paper, that you are using.

I usually draw on regular sketch paper but you can use any paper, just make sure, that the paper can handle markers and your coloring medium.

You can easily test how your paper behaves by drawing a few lines with the marker and then look closely at the lines. If the lines are clean then you can use the paper, if the lines are fading out or seem fuzzy at the edges then the paper is not good for this kind of drawing.

Lastly, for coloring, I used watercolor. Only use watercolor if your paper can take some water without wrinkling up.

You don´t need the exact same materials, that I used for this drawing but it would be good if you used some similar ones.

Now that you have all of your materials, let´s get started drawing.

How to Draw An Owl?

So let´s get started with the actual drawing!

Before we start I will give you some tips, that will help you to get awesome results.

The first tip is, don´t try and copy every line exactly. As long as your lines are somewhat close, then you will be fine. If you just copy every exact line from my drawings then you will start stressing out about the whole drawing instead of enjoying the process.

The second tip is, try and keep your lines steady. You can do so by using your whole arm when drawing a line. This way your lines will be steady and clean. If you just draw from your wrist, you will limit yourself and your lines can look uneven.

And the third tip is if you want your owl to look cute then you should use a lot of round shapes. Round lines and drawings, that don’t have any sharp points will tend to look cute. So avoiding these kinds of shapes will make your drawing look cute.

If you follow these tips, even if they may sound a little bit obvious or ineffective, then I promise you your drawing will end up being awesome!

Step 1: Establishing the General Form of the Owl

We will start out by sketching the general form of the owl. So use your graphite pencil and keep all the lines, that you are going to draw in this step, as light as possible.

You will erase these lines later on and so you should keep them light to make it easier to erase them later on.

Let´s start with a simple ellipse for the head of our owl. The ellipse should be a little wider than it is high.

The ellipse also doesn´t have to be perfectly even.

Under our first ellipse, we will draw another one, which is slightly smaller than the first one.

This second ellipse is going to be the body of the owl.

Before we continue adding more shapes we will have to establish the centerline of the owl. So add one line, that goes vertically down following the form of the ellipses.

Then add another two lines horizontally on the top ellipse. These lines will be for adding the eyes of our owl later on.

Now we are going to add the rough shapes for the tailfeathers and for the claws to our Owl. The tailfeather is just a simple rectangular shape that is tapering down to a sharp point on one side.

The claws will only be two elongated ellipses for now.

Finally, we will add the eyes by adding two simple ellipses to the head of the owl. The ellipse will touch the lines, that we drew in earlier.

In the middle of the head, we will ad the shape of the beak. It is a simple ellipse, that hat a sharp point at the bottom part of it.

And the last thing, that we will add are two upwards pointing ears. These are all just the general shapes, we will define these shapes in the next step. So don´t worry, if they are not looking right yet.

Step 2: Refining the Shapes of Our Owl Drawing

In this step, we will define the shapes a little more before we draw the outlines in the next step.

We will start by adding some details to the eyes of our Owl. Simply add a circle in every eye and add two smaller circles as placeholders for the reflections of the eye at the edge of the pupil of the eye.

Now we will add some detail to the head and the tail of the owl. I added a triangle shape with inward curved sides to the head of the owl and another similar shape to the bottom part of the head.

Then I drew another triangle-like shape to the upper body of the owl.

I also defined the claws a little further by adding three ellipses to each claw.

And finally, I drew a simple pattern to the tailfeathers.

To make the shapes look more feather-like I added some shapes to the edge of the drawing. These shapes would follow the direction of the feathers and break up the silhouette of our drawing. This will give the drawing a more realistic look.

And the final thing I did was adding some featherlike shapes to the breast shape of the Owl.

And we are done with step 2. In the next step, we will start refining the form by adding some outlines.

Step 3: Cleaning up the Drawing

In this step, we will clean up the drawing by adding some outlines. But before we can do this we have to lighten up the graphite lines, that we drew so far.

So use your kneadable eraser to lighten up your sketch. Then grab your marker to start adding the outlines to your drawing.

I usually like to start with outlining the eyes but you can start wherever you want.

Carefully follow the lines, that you drew so far but leave out all the construction lines.

If you vary the weight of your lines then the drawing will look more alive. So try to vary the thickness of your lines all over the drawing. to give it more live.

Finally, add some details like little feather shapes to the body and head of the Owl and fill the pupil of the eyes black.

Then erase the underdrawing completely and you are done with refining your drawing.

Step 4: It´s Time to Color Our Owl

The last thing, that is left to do is coloring our Owl drawing.

I always start by picking the colors for the drawing first.

In the case of our owl drawing, I chose three primary colors and then a slightly darker color for each of the primary colors.

I choose a light brown color for the body of the owl and a darker brown color for some of the details. I also chose a light blue for the eyes.

The next thing, I usually do, is coloring the primary shapes of the owl in their respective colors. I started with the biggest shape, in this case, the body and the head of the Owl.

Next up, I colored in the eyes with the blue color and the rest of the parts of the Owl with the darker brown color.

And finally, I used the darker colors to add some light shadows to the whole drawing. In my case the light is coming from the top left, so all the shapes will have a shadow on the lower left side.

And we are done! You are done with your owl drawing. I hope you had fun drawing with me.

If you have any questions or problems with the guide then let me know by leaving a comment down below. I will answer them as soon as possible.

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