Learn how to draw an Owl Face with this easy step by step tutorial. The close up view lets you add lots of fun details. For a large sample drawing to follow, just download the Owl Coloring Page.
The great thing about learning how to drawing an owl face, is that you have much more room to draw all those wonderful owl details. The sprig of feathers that look like brows, the many rings of color around the eyes. Students even have room to add those little white shiny spots that show where light is reflecting.
Owls have very flat faces. They are able to rotate their heads some 270° this is because their eyeballs are unable to move (ocular immobility). Without peripheral vision and without the ability to turn their eyes, they focus on their food and fly straight toward it. These are all adaptations they made for hunting prey in dim light.
There are many different types of owls, but this tutorial focuses on how to draw the face of a Great Horned Owl. With its long, earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare, and deep hooting voice, it is the quintessential owl of many a storybook.
Getting Started with Drawing Guides
The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing lesson is to show them how to use guides as a reference point.
You may have noticed that all of the tutorials on this website have a dashed line running through the center of each step, both in a horizontal and vertical direction. If students make their own centered lines on their own paper, before drawing, they will have an easy reference to follow.
For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, the drawing starts with a centered nose, so it’s easy to do when students can place it where the two guides meet. It’s important to draw that shape large so students end up with a head that fills their paper.
When students get their drawing off to a good start, there’s a better chance of them feeling successful by the time they are done. Drawing skills are all about getting the size and placement of lines on paper. Having some visual reference point to get started, will always help anyone learn how to be a little more accurate.
So does that mean students need to get out a ruler to draw a big fat line down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the sheet of paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.
And now, on to the Owl Face drawing project.
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Owl Coloring Page
Materials for How to Draw an Owl Face
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tips.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
- Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
- Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.
Directions for How to Draw an Owl Face Step by Step
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to Draw an Owl Face Step by Step
- Draw the nose.
- Add the symmetrical brow shapes.
- Draw two matching large circles.
- Add an edge around each circle.
- Draw outer cheeks and top of head.
- Add two smaller circles with spots inside.
- Draw the two wings and body shape.
- Erase the grey and add spots.
- Trace with a marker and color.
Draw an Owl in a Tree
This owl tutorial will show students how to draw a more realistic owl, without getting too lost in the details. In fact, it’s really more of a silhouette that includes the ears, bumpy feathers on the wing, and pretty scallops on the end of the tails. Color him a pretty brown, OR fill him in black like the tree for a more spooky look.
Drawing Tip of the Day: Remind students to not take any shortcuts on drawing the tree branches. There needs to be quite a few of them, with very curvy shapes so they look old. They are half the fun of the drawing!