How to

How to Draw a Raven with Pen and Ink

Refining the Sketch

To begin creating a detailed drawing of a raven, we first need to refine the initial sketch. Start by adding shaggy feathers around the throat and above the beak, giving the bird a more realistic appearance[^1]. Then, focus on drawing the long tail feathers, making sure to capture their sharp and rigid look. Use curvy organic lines for the softer feathers on the body[^2]. Don’t forget to add the feet with long talons and the contours of the branch under the bird[^3].

Adding Ink to Bring the Drawing to Life

Once you’re satisfied with the pencil sketch, it’s time to add ink and create depth and texture in your drawing. Begin by exploring different feather textures through quick and rough sketches[^4]. For a raven with a deep, dark color, you’ll need several layers of ink hatching to achieve the desired density[^5]. The choice of pen size will depend on the level of control and precision you want to achieve. Thicker pens require fewer layers, while smaller pens allow for more control and detail[^6].

Start inking the final drawing with a 0.1 ink liner, focusing on the general contours of the raven[^7]. Pay attention to the direction of the feathers and use groups of hatches to distinguish feather groups, especially in the wing area[^8]. Darken the eye with rounded hatches, adding depth and volume to the drawing[^9]. Vary the character of lines to capture the different textures of feathers on the neck, breast, and belly[^10]. Give more volume to the legs with rounded hatches, but remember to keep them lighter than the body[^11].

To increase the contrast in your drawing, add several layers of hatching on top of the existing ink lines[^12]. Stippling can be used to create the illusion of soft, short feathering, especially around the eye and beak[^13]. Focus on the head and body, gradually darkening the ink lines and achieving depth and darkness in the drawing[^14]. Keep in mind the glossy look of raven feathers and don’t forget to accentuate the texture of the tail feathers with long, streamlined hatches[^15].


By following these steps and taking your time with each detail, you’ll be able to create a stunning pen and ink drawing of a raven. Remember to experiment with different textures and ink techniques to bring your drawing to life. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the process of capturing the beauty and intricacies of this captivating bird.

Completed pencil sketch of a raven


[^1]: Refining the shape of the head of the raven
[^2]: Drawing the talons of the raven
[^3]: Completed pencil sketch of a raven
[^4]: Drawing feather textures with ink
[^5]: Layering hatching to create black
[^6]: Inking the contour lines of the raven
[^7]: Developing the texture of the bird with ink
[^8]: Increasing the contrast on the head
[^9]: Increasing contrast in the drawing while maintaining volume and form

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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