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Owls are mystical animals, and capture our imaginations with their staring eyes, hooting calls, and majestic demeanour. Since owls are mostly known as nocturnal predators, we wanted to do a dark nighttime background using black paper. However, the snowy owl and many other types of owls hunt both during the day and at night and it’s often a misconception that all owls are nocturnal. That being said, we often hear owls hoot at night as they mysteriously lurk from tree boughs above. So these are inspired by those nighttime visitors!

Since it’s winter time we focused on the snowy owl. Creating a contrasting pastel drawing by using the bright white up against the dark black. We did this simple pastel craft to try and capture the different moods and character of these unique birds. We used different shapes to create our owls, like a heart, circle, oval and triangle. A simple outline (think of a potato) will be a good base to explore within the idea of an owl, and can be filled with rich texture to show feathers, as well as bright eyes and a small beak for character, mood, and personality.


1. black paper (preferably thick pastel paper)

2. Pastels

Step by step for the pastel snow owls:

  1. draw the outline of an owl using a white pastel - oval or round shaped.

  2. create the round eyes using yellow or orange and black pastel.

  3. draw an upside down black triangle nose.

  4. colour the outline with white, leaving parts of it black for the black spots on the feathers.

  5. make the black spots stand out more if you want by colouring them in with black pastel or create V‘s over the white with the black pastel to represent the feathers.

Here‘s a similar way to create the pastel owl:

Snowy Owl Pastels by Charlotte age 6

Notice the multiple shapes to create this owl:

Make the eyes stand out by making large circles and colouring them yellow and orange.

We hope you have fun creating this dark, mysterious owl pastel artwork. Feel free to tag us on Instagram @acorns.and.aprons if you create a unique owl of your own!


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