How to Draw an Owl with Watercolors


Owl is one of the nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, possesses large, forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. I also think they are one of the most interesting animals on the planet, which is why I like to draw them. In this article, I’ll show you how to draw a sloth step-by-step.

List of Supplies:

Step 1. Sketch the outline of the owl with blue colored pencil
Firstly, create a rough sketch and face of the owl by impression with blue colored pencils. You can change to any other pale-colored pencils. Next, add the shape of a short branch under it. Our owl will be placed on a branch. Forget any details and setting down the position of each part of the owl is enough in this step. Finish the sketch by adding talons.


Step 2. Set the basic tone and avoid face & highlights of the owl 
Dilute red and orange with water and apply a thin wash over the entire drawing, don’t forget to color the tail of the owl. Carefully leave white on the branch and the highlights on the owl's face and wings. Our artist used 100 Colors Solid Watercolor Paint Set, which includes an appreciated brush, and the paints are specially formulated to offer a high concentration of pigments while remaining easily re-settable and bendable.

Step 3. Light the side of the owl's face and branches with blue paints
Let's assume that the owl stands on an icy branch in the winter. Once dry, dilute pale blue paint with water to the areas of the body that would be in shadow—from the side face to the midsection and the branch. It doesn't matter if some of the background colors were overlapped, they will be covered by the next painting.


Step 4.  Add the coat feathers to the owl
This step is relatively easier as it is coloring for the biggest area of the owl. Our artist used a mid-size wool hair brush to paint the owl head to the body with brown watercolor paint. It should be reminded that brown paint needs to avoid the space of the owl’s face, back, talons, and the highlights on the wings. Besides, there is no need to wait for the paint to dry completely during this step and needs more water to mix the deep red color on the underbelly of the owl.

Step 5. Optimize the details and shades
In this stage, enhancing the contrast of the whole painting is the primary goal. We can use a dark brown with a slightly purple tinge to paint some of the branches, as well as the owl's tail and dark feathers. Further, add black color with less water and by miniature paintbrush to the darkest shadow of the owl, there are distributed the underneath owl’s ears, the hair around the lower half of the face, and underneath the wings. Finally, you can use the tip of the brush add to add some tiny marks with black paint to outline the owl’s facial features and talons.

You’ve done it! You’ve just drawn and painted an owl standing on a branch in winter, that’s simply wonderful!


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to draw an owl. These cute nocturnal animals are so charming and make great subjects to sketch, draw, and paint. Let us know in the comments section of this article how your drawing came out!

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