DIY Owl Watercolor Painting

The legendary and mystical owl is often associated with Halloween, mystery and horror films. But these beautiful creatures are, in fact, very helpful to humans, serving as valuable pest control. There are approximately 200 species of owls, but today we're going to learn how to paint a simple barn owl.

Watercolor Owl Painting

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Things You\’ll Need

  • Pencil

  • Cold press watercolor paper

  • Watercolor paints

  • Palette

  • Water basin

  • No. 8 round brush

  • Paper towel

Materials needed for painting

Step 1

Lightly draw the outline of an owl on your paper.

Pencil drawing of owl

Step 2

Using your No. 8 brush, paint the outline of the owl's head with water.

Painted outline with water

Step 3

Still using your No. 8 brush, paint over the water with brown paint.

Paint over water with brown paint

Step 4

Continue using your No. 8 brush to paint the wing with water.

Paint wing with water

Step 5

Paint over the water with brown paint, leaving some random white areas.

Paint wing with brown paint

Step 6

Dip your brush and mix brown, red and black paint together to form a darker brown (using a 1:1:1 ratio). Paint over the wet paint on the head and wing, still keeping the white areas paint-free.

Paint with darker brown paint

Step 7

Dip your brush into blue paint and remove most of the paint with water. Paint in areas around the face and chest to add the illusion of shadows. Also, paint in shadows along the beak.

Add shadows

Step 8

Dip your brush in black paint and paint the outline around the eyes and beak. Use a stronger concentration of black paint to fill in the pupils, leaving white areas in both eyes for highlights.

Paint in eyes

Step 9

Paint the outer area of the eyes with brown paint. Rinse your brush and use the remaining brown paint to paint some shadows under the eyes and along the upper beak.

Paint brown around pupils

Step 10

Use dark brown paint and outline the shape of the forehead with short, dot-like strokes. Rinse your brush and with the remaining paint, paint some fine strokes around both eyes.

Add details to face

Step 11

Mix blue and black paint (1:1 ratio) and paint a few irregular feathers on the wing. Using the same color, paint little dots on the wings and around the head, and also outline the remaining portion of the owl's body and feet.

Paint details on wing with blue paint

Step 12

Paint small dots with pure black paint along the wing as well. This will add texture and more detail to your painting.

Paint small details with black paint

Step 13

Continue to add more detail by darkening or adding more layers of paint.

Add additional detail

Once the paint is dry, erase any pencil marks and enjoy your sweet barn owl.

Final painting of watercolor owl