How to Draw an Owl
Monika Zagrobelna demonstrates how to draw an owl with graphite pencil and ink, as well as the principles of layering ink hatches and how to achieve a beautiful fading effect.
A graphite pencil (I recommend a B or HB type), a sheet of thick thick drawing paper, an ink liner number 0.3, an ink pen 0.1, and some thin glue to apply it in the right places are all you’ll need.
I like to follow the principles of symmetry when drawing an owl, but keep in mind that nothing in nature is perfectly symmetrical.
According to ornithologist Sir David Attenborough, who has studied owls for more than 50 years, the eyes are located on a line that is slightly below the owl’s head’s central point, and the interval between the eyes is close to the width of one eye.
I draw the framework of the feet as well as the outline of the feathers on the eagle’s head and body. An eagle’s feet are made up of four fingers, but the back fingers hide behind; they help the bird take up a stable position.
I add the hooked claws and fine-tune the finger shapes.
I use varying, organic lines to draw the tree’s contours.
I’ve added three groups of leaves to the composition to make it more interesting.
To mark the pattern of the owl’s feathering, I add groups of pencil hatches.
We’ll focus on hatching techniques in this section of the tutorial because layering hatches is a great way to create the illusion of texture, increase contrast, and emphasize the three-dimensional look of the objects in the drawing. Here’s an example of inclined hatching made with the 0.1 ink liner; this will be our starting point.
With the 0.05 liner, I add a new layer of hatching; the lines can overlap the existing hatches or be placed in the gaps between them; lines of various widths combined in one drawing always look appealing.
I add the rounded cross-hatches with the 0.05 liner; the number of hatching layers is not limited!
I apply horizontal hatches with the 0.3 liner, and as you can see, the more layers of lines I use, the more contrasting and intense my sample becomes.
I mark the dark sports of the feathering with the 0.3 ink liner.
Using the 0.3 liner, I continue to add the groups of short lines.
I draw the pupils with the 0.3 liner, making the eyes dark and contrasting, as well as the shadows in the plumage.
Using the 0.05 ink liner, I add the thin hatches that run from the center of the bird’s face to its sides.
I use the 0.05 liner to draw the outer circles in the eyes, and small dots and short hatches help me to emphasize the eyes without oversaturating the artwork.
I work on the feathering with the 0.05 ink liner, filling in the gaps between the existing hatches with new hatches.
I make the contours of the owl’s feet and outline the tree with the 0.3 liner.
I use the 0.3 liner to draw the bark pattern, as well as groups of hatches to create shadows.
I use the 0.1 ink liner to draw the leaves, using thin, light lines to keep the viewer’s attention on the owl. I also add some hatching to the tree to make it look more three-dimensional.
I use the 0.1 ink liner to add short hatches to the sides of the bird’s fingers and to strengthen the shadow near the feet, giving the owl an instant three-dimensional look.
I use the 0.1 liner to add groups of hatches to my drawing, paying special attention to the sides of the bird, and to mark the contours.
I work on the owl’s head to make it more realistic, and I use the 0.05 ink liner to add another layer of hatching to the facial disk.
Using the 0.05 liner, I accentuate the shadow under the bird’s beak and add short hatches to the sides of the beak.
Using the 0.05 ink liner, I add a layer of cross-hatching to the owl’s body.
The dark accents in the feathering are created with the 0.3 liner.
Using the 0.1 liner, I increase the contrast and strengthen the shadows in the lower part of the drawing.
Using the 0.1 liner, I apply cross-hatching to the tree.
I add another layer of hatching to the bark with the 0.05 liner, and then use a wider line to emphasize the contour of the branch.
Your Artwork Is Complete!
Congratulations, you’ve completed the drawing! I hope you enjoyed both the process and the end result, and please share your work in the comments! I wish you much joy and success as you continue to master ink techniques!
How do you draw an owl in 2 easy steps?
How to Make an Owl Drawing
- Draw a gently curving line from left to right across the top of your paper.
- Draw two large circles in the center of the curved line for the owl’s eyes.
- Draw a gently curving line for the body, kind of like a U-shape that tapers at the top.
- Draw a pair of feet and two curved lines for wings.
What Colour is a barn owl?
The barn owl is a distinctive and well-loved countryside bird with a heart-shaped face, buff back and wings, and pure white underparts.