How to draw a barn owl

Grab a pencil, drawing pen and sketch pad to create an elegant winter owl using simple shapes and lines

 

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It’s difficult to image, after seeing a barn owl perched on a fence post in the wild, that you could capture its shape and character on paper.

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But with these five simple steps, you’ll be able to do just that.

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There are 4,000 breeding pairs of barn owl in the UK ©Getty

Method

1. Create the shape

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Using a pencil, draw a curved line across the page. Overlay four circles, each centred on the line – these should vary in size.

2. Sketch the outline
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Link the four circles together. Add two slightly curved lines to circle one, dividing it into quarters to create the outlines for the face.
3. Add the face
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Use the vertical line on the head to help sketch the beak, draw the eyes just above the horizontal line, and then add the facial disk. 
4. Sketch the feathers
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Sketch the wing and tail feathers using the two middle circles as a guide. If you are feeling confident, add the feet and fence post.
5. Add detail
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Ink over the lines you want to keep using a drawing pen, leaving a small highlight in the eyes to give your owl life. Finally, erase the pencil. 

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Main image ©Alan Batley