Saw-Whet Owl

6 October 2010
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This is my second drawing this size.

With this drawing i experimented a bit with the background. The reason the background is simple is for contrast. I wanted the blurry background to make the owl jump out more. Up close the background looks all simple but once you add distance between yourself and the drawing the background begins to look more clear.

This is my second drawing in this size. This drawing will also measure 30″x40″, the same size as the ‘Siberian Tiger Cub‘. I decided to draw the Saw-Whet owl for a simple reason, its size. These owls only measure between 6.5″ to 8.5″, making them one of the smallest. So i will be taking something small and making it large.

Update 06/24/2010-

80% of the head is complete. I’m still adding small details around the eyes and have yet to add some dark feathers which will overlap the white feathers. I’m really happy with the way the feathers are turning out, especially the texture that it has. I have been using the same technique for drawing hair to draw the feathers. The only difference is the direction that i indent the lines. I have a long way to go but its looking great so far. Below is a video of what i have so far. Make sure to watch it in HD for better video quality.

Click to Watch

Update 07/14/2010-

I have began adding feathers to the body. The feathers on these birds look more life hair than feathers so im using the same indenting method that i use to draw animal hair. You might not be able to see it but i have already indented the feathers on the whole body and im now just adding the details by picking out the shadows. Its been a long process but im really happy with the way its turning out. I will probably darken the feathers around the beak a bit to suggest more shadows. Once i start adding more sections i can change things around so that it looks the way i want it to.

Update 07/22/2010-

saw-whet owl pencil drawing
I’m progressing much faster on this drawing than the previous one. Like i have mentioned before, the feathers on the body resemble fur more than feathers. What you see here is about 90% of the body being complete. Im adding small details that will add depth to the body. Im also adding clumps of feathers. These are clumps are just feathers that are close together and stand out much more. By adding shadows and highlights to these clumps i give the body much more dimension and doesn’t look as flat. Once i’m done with the body i will darken the face a bit and will then move on to the tree stump that this owl is resting on. The tree trunk will also add another level of texture which will compliment the feathers on the owl nicely. At the moment im using mostly 2h pencil and 6b. The 2h im using of the shadows on the light feathers and 6b to add the darker feathers. So far its coming along great and the body should be done by the next update.

Update 07/28/2010-

saw-whet owl pencil drawing
The owl is about 99% complete, i still have some small changes that i want to do that will make the owl stand out much more. I have darkened the owl a bit more by adding more shadows and that is very evident from the previous update. I did most of the darkening with a dull 2h pencil which is great for gradually darkening sections. This makes the owl much more solid, meaning that the owl now looks like its on top and most of the paper cannot be seen through, if that makes sense. It still looks like its just floating around, but once i start adding the tree stump where its resting and the background it will begin to come together. The next section that i will be starting will be the tree stump. The texture from this section will contrast with the texture of the bird and will give the overall drawing a nice effect. I want to make the trunk as rough looking as possible in order to compliment the owl. Its hard to see what i have imagined from what i have, but slowly all the pieces will come together.

Update 08/07/2010-

saw-whet owl pencil drawing
The wood texture is not difficult, its just a tedious process. I’m using the papers texture to create the texture for the tree bark. I just run a graphite stick over the paper, barely touching it and the pencil leaves a nice rough pattern. From there i just connect and pick out the shadows. This process works well when you understand what you are drawing. Understanding how tree bark looks makes it easier to imagine it on the rough patter was created with graphite stick. Since its a broken tree, there will be different textures. The tree bark will have a rough,random look to it and the inside of the tree will be smoother looking.

Below is a closeup of the bark and the inside of inside of the tree. Some areas are darker than other because of shadows. The edge of the edge of the tree ill finish when the background is complete.
saw-whet owl pencil drawing wood texture pencil

Update 09/17/2010-

saw-whet owl pencil drawing
I’m layering the texture on the tree stump and slowly darkening it. I don’t want to rush this section because i want to make sure i get it to look just right. I’m using the papers texture to add that rough look. For this section im using mostly 2h,5h and 4b pencils and im not blending anything in order to keep the rough look.

Update 10/06/2010-

Owl Pencil Drawing
Click to Watch
Make Sure to Watch in HD
The tree is 99.9% complete, i might add final details once the drawing is done to finish off. The tree took me almost close to the same time to complete as the owl did. I took my time with the texture. This texture will play a big part in the final drawing. The background will contrast with the detail on the owl and tree. It will make the owl jump out much more through that contrast. The background will be unique in that its going to be an illusion. Up close you will not be able to make out the background unless you move back. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and i thought this drawing would be a great project to try it out with. The background will not be as detailed as the Siberian Tiger but it will still be an important part in the whole drawing.

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Recent comments

  • BritBrat15 4 years ago

    owlsome! owl. i love owls so this looks amazing!

  • Britany Gosa 4 years ago

    wow i really like owls but i didnt know some one could draw like that! that is owlsome!

  • Mean Muscle 8 years ago

    SUPERB!!! I really enjoy your art work. I would love render amazing detail like you. I was wondering if possible, that you post a youtube tutorial on how you was able to display such amazing details. I would love to learn your technics.

    Mean Muscle.

    • onlypencil 8 years ago

      thank you so much. Adding fine details to drawing comes with understanding what you are drawing. Before i start drawing, i first find images of what i will be drawing and i study it. This helps me see fine details and those details can then be added to the drawing. This is very helpful and with time you will begin to add these details without having to use reference material. You’d be amazed on the things that you can learn about something if you really pay close attention to them.

  • goldenboyz 8 years ago

    loved the details and really nice how you maintained the level of details even at the wood part. keep it going!

  • Bethany 8 years ago

    WOW! I love how the owl stands out so much. Amazing job. What would you suggest for me for selling my drawings? Because, I’ve been told that if I look at a picture from on the internet, say of an animal, and then I draw it, I’ve been told I don’t have the right to sell it. (Not looking at someone else’s art, but just a picture that has been put on the internet). Thanks in advance 馃檪

  • Samonac 9 years ago

    You are and incredible artist. You are one of those people that you need to see to believe.

  • Jenna 9 years ago

    Wow. That’s insane. And because owls are my favorite bird, I LOVE IT!!! You are uberly talented.