How to

How to Draw an Owl’s Face & Head Step by Step

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of drawing an owl’s face and head from the front view. Each step is accompanied by pencil drawing examples to help you visualize the progress. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this tutorial will provide you with the necessary guidance to create a stunning owl drawing.

Owl face drawing step by step

Please note that in this tutorial, some of the construction lines have been darkened for better visibility. If you’re using pencil and paper, make sure to use light strokes for the initial sketch.

Step 1: Establish the Construction Lines for the Owl’s Head

Owl face construction lines

Begin by drawing several guide and construction lines to outline the basic shape and proportions of the owl’s head. Start with a straight vertical line to determine the center of your drawing area and ensure symmetry.

Next, sketch the outer shape of the head, followed by two angled lines to form the “horns” (characteristic of a horned owl) and the “eyebrow” feathers. Lastly, draw the curved shape of the face.

Step 2: Draw the Basic Shapes of the Head

Owl face line drawing with construction lines

Based on the guidelines from the previous step, start adding the intricate details of the owl’s head and face. Draw the eyes, beak, “horns,” and various feather patterns on the face. Remember that the owl’s eyes are round, but the top part is partially covered by feathers.

Step 3: Clean Line Drawing

Owl face line drawing

Erase the construction lines, darken the areas around the eyes, leaving the highlights white. Add subtle hints of feather patterns to bring depth and texture to the drawing.

Step 4: Begin Shading

Owl face drawing basic shading

Start shading by adding strokes that follow the contours of the owl’s head and face. Use consistent strokes or a light crosshatch technique where appropriate. Leave the lighter areas, such as above the eyes, around the beak, and along the neck, unshaded for now.

Step 5: Refine the Shading

Owl face drawing shading

Add more crosshatch strokes around the eye areas and intensify the shading to create the individual feathers on top and below the head. Darken the outline around the sides of the face, as owls of this type tend to have a distinct border. Use short strokes to depict the darker feathers around the neck, gradually transitioning from dark at the base to lighter at the ends.

Step 6: Finish the Drawing

Owl face drawing

Add overlapping strokes to reinforce the darker areas of the owl’s head, making the feathers more pronounced. Avoid blending the strokes completely, as visible strokes contribute to a realistic feather-like texture. To create a “fluff” effect, incorporate lighter strokes in different directions on the white feather areas of the owl’s plumage.

Once you’ve refined the shading to your satisfaction, you’ll have a finished drawing of an owl.


This tutorial offers a challenging yet rewarding drawing experience, as it requires attention to detail and a variety of stroke techniques. If you’re looking for an easier bird drawing tutorial, consider checking out “How to Draw a Bird Step by Step – Side View.” If you’re up for another challenging project, explore “How to Draw a Realistic Hawk’s Head Step by Step.”

Remember, practice makes perfect, and with dedication, you’ll develop your skills in no time. Happy drawing!

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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