Animal Drawing: Great Horned Owl

One the favorite birds for students to draw is the owl, in this lesson we are inspired by wildlife artist Robert Bateman.  Great Horned Owl does not really have “horns” but tall tufts of feathers. When disturbed, the owl raises the tufts and sits very still so it can blend into the tree bark and hide. When it flies, the tufts are flat against the head. This owl has a wingspan of 3 feet but only weighs 9 ounces! Their lifespan is 25-30 years. I like to use watercolor materials for this project.
Materials:  watercolor paper, sketching pencil, watercolor pencils or paint.

Step #1: Draw some light guidelines down the center of the paper and through middle. Start with a curved line for the branch and a large oval for the owl.

Step #2: Draw large circles at the top of the oval and and then add the large eyes. Draw the beak in between the eyes and add the large tufts of feathers that make up the owl’s horns.

Step #3: Draw feathers and wings. Then continue below the branch with the owls tail feathers. (I use a scallop or “U” shape to create some of the feathers)

Step #4: Draw the talons coming over the branch (the owl uses the talons more for balance not for grabbing branch)

Step #5: Now it is time to add your details to the owl and the background.

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