Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

A Fall Art Project


With the days getting shorter and that slight chill in the air, we all look for some indoor activities that can keep our kids occupied. Trying a new art project is a fun, relaxing way to engage the whole family's creativity.

This owl drawing is great for kids and adults alike, and works with whatever art materials you've got at home. Owls are perfect for using lots of the fall colors your kids are seeing in nature, but don't feel stuck keeping things realistic! Tons of artists use owls as a creative design, adding their own imaginative patterns and playful, bright colors.


  • sturdy, smooth paper (like white card stock)

  • permanent black pen

  • markers

  • optional additional supplies: colored pencils, glitter glue

Note: If you'd rather do this with watercolors or other paint, just use watercolor paper instead!

Owl Example  Lauren

1. Talk with your kids a little bit about owls, if they're curious. This can get them excited about what they're doing, and help them think of ideas for how to decorate the drawing. Owls live in almost all parts of the world, and are nocturnal. Most can fly silently, and their large eyes help them see in the dark. Since they can't move their eyes like we do, their heads turn really far – so far they don't even need to move their body to see behind them!

2. Take a little time to warm up with some scratch paper. You can practice by trying out some pieces of the picture, like the eyes or feet.

Owl Step by Step

3. Start by doing the curvy "V" in the owl's head, in the top half of your paper. This will help you build the shape of the owl's face!

4. Add little points at the ends of the "V", then connect them with a curve for the top of the head. Use two connected curves for the bottom of the face.

5. Follow the steps in the picture, adding your beak, eyes, body and feet one piece at a time. Save your wings and tail for last, after you've outlined a branch for your owl to sit on.

6. Keep going! Think of some fun details to add to your background, if you want, and then fill in your colors with markers. Once you've filled everything in, try using colored pencils on top of the marker to add extra details, or add some sparkle with a light coat of glitter glue!Encourage older kids to add patterns and layered colors to show details like feathers and the textures of the talons, branch, etc. For younger kids, you can use a simpler version that skips the feet and focuses on more basic shapes.

Check out how Sophia, age 8, used this lesson concept and basic shapes to make her wonderful artwork!

Sofia - 8

yehr.jpgTheresa Harris is founder of Thrive Art School in Seattle and Thrive Art Online, an online art program for kids. Thrive Art School offers year round art classes, workshops and summer camps for kids age 3 and up in Seattle's Ravenna and Madison Valley neighborhoods, as well as their recently launched online art program for kids.