Artist Bateman – Saw-Whet Owl

Bateman Saw-Whet Owl Painting

My students love drawing birds and their favorite is bird is owls. I recently used a Robert Bateman Owl painting as our inspiration. Bateman was always interested in art, but he never intended on making a living from it. He was fascinated by the natural world in his childhood; he recorded the sightings of all of the birds in the area of his house in Toronto. He was also interested in making abstract paintings of nature. In our lesson we use Bateman’s painting “Saw-Whet Owl” as our inspiration. We focus on the shape and texture of the Owl as it sits on the branch. We use sketching pencil, sharpie and watercolor pencils to create texture and dimension. They can weigh from 54 to 151 g (1.9 to 5.3 oz) with an average of around 80 g (2.8 oz), making them one of the smallest owls in North America. In relative size to other birds they are close to the size of an American Robin. The Northern Saw-whet Owl has a round, light, white face with brown and cream streaks; they also have a dark beak and yellow eyes.

Step #1: Draw a guideline down the center and a line across the middle. Draw a circle for the head and a oval for body.

Step #2: Draw eyes and beak. Then connect the head to the body as shown below.

Step #3: Draw the wing and tail feathers.

Step #4: Add feather details to the head and wing. I use a letter “U” for the wing texture. Draw the talon.

Step #5: Draw the branches the owl is sitting on and then add your own details. Have fun and get creative.


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