Now, we’ll speak about drawing an owl step-by-step. In order to draw an owl we should understand the structure of the feather and wings. Feathers can be different: small or fluffy, they may be located on the head, on the breast and on the paws. They may be of a middle size. These are the feathers that are located on the upper part of an owl’s feather. There may be long feathers that are located on the middle and lower parts of the feathers. We have already talked here about the structure of a feather.
1. We need to draw a precise sketch. We draw the contours of the head, body and a wing with light strokes. Your lines shouldn’t be thick. Click on the picture here in order to make it bigger.
2. We draw beak, the area of the legs and feathers.
3. Draw eyes and pupils. They are not complete circles. Now we need to erase the contour (make it lighter) and draw feathers with the help of lines of various length instead of it. They shouldn’t be drawn precisely and in detail. It is a kind of a “sketch” of the feathers. It is as if they are there. Then, make paws and the main part (the base) of the owl more visible.
4. On this picture, the source of light is located on the left side that’s why the tone on the right side is darker. Add tilted-over lines of shading on the head. They well represent small soft feathers. Pay attention to the way the lines are tilted over. This is very important since it helps to create an illusion of various forms depth. Make a sketch of feathers of a different length and form. Add several curved strokes on the feet of the paws so that to show the direction according to which tiny soft feathers grow.
5. Remember that the shading lines that you used for drawing feathers have a various length and various shades. The contours are not formed sharply. It is more likely that they have the form of a feather or they may be not that even. This will help you to show the way an owl looks more close to life.
Use 2H pencil and make the feathers on the central part and left side of the paws darker. You need to do the same with the lower part of the body. Do it in a light manner. Use 2B pencil and make a transitional shadow on the right side. Then, use 2B and 4B pencils and add dark shadows of the feathers on the lower part of the body, on the right shoulder, under the beak and under a wing. Draw a circle across the perimeter of the eyes irises (it will be an outer rim).
6. Use 2B pencil and hatch these outer irises. Use 6B pencil and paint the pupil leaving a patch of reflected light in it. Add a dark shadow on the beak.
7. Use 2H and HB pencils and paint the eyes and the beak of the owl.
8. Use hard pencils in order to add more hatches on all parts of the head. Use 2H pencil for lighter areas. Use 2B and 4B pencils for darker ones. Add several tiny ovals on the feathers that are located on the forehead and on both sides of the head. On the next picture, the way the ovals look ones finished is shown. You can also see it in a higher resolution. If you want to point out some of them more, then, just go over them with your eraser so that to show and make the central parts of each oval look lighter.
9. Use a sharpened hard pencil and draw soft downy feathers with the help of short hatches. These feathers are located on the breast and on the paws of the owl.
10. Hatch the feathers on the owl’s tail. Each feather has a dark shadow on the right side. It gradually turns into a light one on the left side. Add diagonal lines on some feathers. Look attentively at the picture and notice that the diagonal lines drawn on each of the feathers make the darkening look complete and point out the details.
11. Hatch the feathers in the upper area of the wing. Hatch the upper part of it darker since there is a shadow from the head of the owl.
12. Use pencils of various softness and make hatching with lines of different length so that to show the texture of the feathers in the upper part of a wing. Some feathers have light areas on their ends.
13. Add dark shadows on the claws. When you do it, leave the places for the reflections. Make hatching with various lines in order to create the texture of a branch.
14. If it is necessary, add more lines (if you wish). Probably, this is necessary for your picture to look complete. In order to make light areas use eraser. In order to create dark ones make an additional hatching. Write down the date and sign your picture.