Breaking News

How to Draw a Raven: The Ultimate Guide


Drawing can be a therapeutic and rewarding experience, and among the numerous animals to sketch, the raven is a unique and captivating subject. As a common symbol in folklore, mythology, and literature, ravens always make for an intriguing subject to depict.

But, where do artists start when it comes to drawing this elusive bird? In this post, we will discuss all the tips and tricks you will need to create a stunning illustration of a raven that will make you proud.

We will cover everything from outlining the basic shapes to adding intricate details and shadows to create a realistic and exquisite drawing that will perfectly capture the essence of the raven.

So, whether you’re a professional artist or a beginner, let’s dive into the world of raven drawing and make your masterpiece.

The Basic Shapes

The first step in drawing a raven is outlining the basic shapes. The raven has a unique body structure, so it’s essential to get it right before moving onto the details.

Begin by drawing two elongated ovals connected to one another for the wingspan and follow it up with a larger oval for the body.

The head is also oval-shaped but with a pointed beak on one side. Don’t forget to add a pair of feathers for the tail

These shapes will provide the foundation you need to create your raven drawing.

Pro Tip: Use Light Lines

It’s essential to use light lines when outlining the shapes, as it will make it easier to erase them later, so make sure to use a 2H or a 3H pencil.

Detailing the Head

Once you have the basic shapes, it’s time to move onto more complex details, starting with the head.

A raven’s head has unique features, including a sharp beak, a pair of distinct eyes, and a plume of feathers at the back of the skull.

Use darker lines to refine the outlines, focusing on the beak’s shape, the placement of the feathers, and the eyes’ detailing.

Details Explanation
Beak The beak is sharp and elongated, with a slight curve. Add details to the beak’s tip and add some shadows to create depth.
Eyes A raven’s eyes are large and round, with a distinct white patch at the base. Add a shade of gray to the white area to imitate the reflection of light.
Feathers The feathers at the back of the head are long and pointed, giving the raven a striking appearance. Add textures to the feathers to create more depth.

Pro Tip: Use Reference Picture

For a more accurate depiction of a raven’s head, use a reference picture to guide you along the way.

Detailing the Body

Once you are satisfied with the head, move onto the body detailing by adding feathers, defining the wings, and creating shadows. The feathers at the raven’s chest and belly should be more prominent and give the bird a fuller appearance.

Ravens are a symbol of darkness, so make sure to add shadows to the illustration to create a moody and mysterious atmosphere.

Pro Tip: Add Highlights

To create further depth and dimension, don’t forget to add highlights to the raven’s body. The highlights will depict the area where the light is hitting the bird and bring attention to that part of the illustration.

Adding the Final Details

The final step is the most exciting – adding details that will bring your raven drawing to life.

Take a darker pencil and add intricate textures to the feathers, rendering the eyes, and adding some details to the beak. Pay attention to the raven’s claws as they should be pointy and sharp.

Don’t forget to add some background elements that will compliment your raven drawing.


What pencils should I use for raven drawing?

Use a 2H or a 3H pencil for outlining the basic shapes, an HB pencil for shading, and a 2B or a 3B pencil for detailing.

Can I draw a raven without any experience?

Yes, you can. This tutorial is beginner-friendly, and by following the steps, you will create a stunning raven drawing.

How long does it take to draw a raven?

It depends on your experience level. This tutorial can take around two hours for beginners and less time for more experienced artists.

What’s the best paper for raven drawing?

The best paper for a raven drawing is a heavyweight, acid-free, and artist-grade paper that can handle a lot of layers and detailing.

Can I use color in my raven drawing?

Yes, you can. Color pencils, watercolors, or ink can add more creativity to your raven illustration.

Should I draw a raven from reference pictures or imagination?

It’s best to use reference pictures for accuracy, but you can also use your imagination to create a unique drawing.

Can I draw a raven digitally?

Yes, you can use digital software and tablets to draw a raven.

What’s the best way to practice raven drawing?

Practice makes perfect, so keep sketching ravens whenever you have the chance. You can also take a bird anatomy course to improve your skills.

How can I shade my raven drawing?

Use cross-hatching or stippling techniques to give your raven drawing depth and texture.

How important is lighting in raven drawing?

Lighting is essential in raven drawing, as it will create a more realistic and striking illustration.

Can I customize my raven drawing?

Yes, you can customize your raven drawing by adding elements that reflect your style and artistic preferences.

How can I make my raven drawing look realistic?

By adding the right amount of details, shading, and textures, your raven drawing will look realistic and captivating.

How can I improve my raven drawing?

Keep practicing, use reference pictures, take bird anatomy courses, and follow tutorials like this one to improve your raven drawing.

Should I outline my raven drawing before adding details?

Yes, outlining the basic shapes and adding details in layers will result in a more precise and realistic raven drawing.


Drawing ravens can be challenging but rewarding. In this tutorial, we’ve covered all the essential tips, tools, and techniques you need to create a mesmerizing raven drawing.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned artist, this tutorial would give you all you need to know to nail your raven drawing.

So, grab a pencil, some paper, and get started! Remember to practice often, and you’re sure to become a great raven artist in no time.

Closing Words

We hope that this tutorial has been helpful in your journey to drawing ravens. Remember that drawing is a journey and that every step you take is essential. Keep practicing, and don’t forget to have fun while doing it.

Please share your own tips and raven drawing with us in the comments below. We are always excited to see your creations.

Happy drawing!

Video For : How to Draw a Raven: The Ultimate Guide