How to Draw an Owl Step by Step

This tutorial shows an easy way to draw a cartoon horned owl in nine steps. It provides simple examples and quick instructions to go along with them.

Owl drawing step by step
Owl drawing step by step

The owl in the example is a “horned drawn in a very simple style to make the tutorial beginner friendly. You can see a preview of it in the image above.

Start in pencil and make light lines that are easy to erase as you will need to do so in some of the steps. You can darken them before colring once you have all of the part of the owl in place.

Step 1 – Draw the Owl’s Head & Body

Owl body drawing
Owl body drawing

Begin with an outlined of the owl’s head followed by the body.

Make the head fairly wide and give it’s outline a bit of an upwards curve at the bottom middle .

Add the body as one long curve that is very slightly flattened at the bottom.

Step 2 – Draw the Wings

Owl wings line drawing
Owl wings line drawing

Going down from the bottom of the head and overlapping the sides of the body add the wings. Make these wider towards the top and narrower as they go down.

You can then erase the parts of the body that are covered by them (shown in red).

Owl wings drawing
Owl wings drawing

You should have a drawing similar to the one above after your done.

Step 3 – Draw the Feet

Owl feet line drawing
Owl feet line drawing

Add the feet as two sets of oval shapes with the middle toe being the largest and the ones on the sides being slightly smaller.

These will again go over top of the body so you can once again erase it’s outline where they overlap (shown in red).

Owl feet drawing
Owl feet drawing

Once you are finished with this step your drawing should be similar to the above example.

Step 4 – Draw the “Horns”

Owl horns drawing
Owl horns drawing

As this is a horned owl add the “horn like” shapes on the top of it’s head (really these are just feathers) with a bump like curve between them.

Step 5 – Draw the Beak

Owl beak drawing
Owl beak drawing

In the middle of the head draw the beak. Owls generally have fairly small and narrow beak compared to the size of their head. First draw it’s outline and then add the split that goes down into a pointy tip.

Step 6 – Draw the Face Pattern

Owl horns line drawing
Owl horns line drawing

Draw a pair of curved lines going from the upper part of the beak towards the tip of each of the horns (but not touching them).

Afterwards erase the outline of the head (shown in red) between these two lines.

Owl face pattern drawing
Owl face pattern drawing

You should have a cleaned up drawing similar to the above once done.

Step 7 – Draw the Eyes

Owl eyes drawing step by step
Owl eyes drawing step by step

Draw a pair of large round eyes that are so characteristic of an owl. Inside each eye draw another small circle for the pupils. Instead of placing these directly in the middle draw them slightly closer to the beak. Also add a small oval shaped highlight overlapping each pupil. You can erase a little bit of their outlines before drawing these in.

Owl eyes drawing
Owl eyes drawing

Once you finish drawing the eyes you should have an owl similar to the one above.

Step 8 – Finish the Line Drawing

Owl line drawing
Owl line drawing

Outline some areas along the owl’s head and body that will have feathers of a different color (used in the next step). On the head draw a smaller inner shape that somewhat follows it’s main outline. Next draw an oval like shape on it’s chest/stomach area.

With the above in place you should have all of the parts of the owl outlined. If everything looks good you can trace over your drawing with a black pen/marker or darken your lines with the pencil. You can also fill in the pupils of the eyes with black or dark pencil shading (leave the highlights white).

Step 9 – Color the Owl

Owl drawing
Owl drawing

To color the owl you can use whatever you have available (paints, markers, colored pencils, etc…). Make the body brown with lighter brown areas on the parts outlined in the previous step. Color the beak and feet orange and the eyes yellow.

Alternatively you can also make the main body grey and the lighter areas a lighter grey.

When done coloring you should have a finished drawing of a horned owl.

Conclusion

Drawing a stylized cartoon owl like the one in this tutorial is fairly easy and can be great practice for beginners. As was shown in the step by step breakdown it’s generally good to first outline it’s larger shapes such as the head and body and then add the smaller parts followed by the little details.

Hopefully you’ve found this drawing guide helpful and easy to follow. For more similar tutorial also see: