How to Draw a Great Auk

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Great Auk in 9 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Great Auk.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Great Auk - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Start the auk by drawing the head and beak. The head is a short line that curves down. The beak is a slightly curved triangle shape with a pointy beak. Draw a short line from the end of the beak to the bottom of the head line. This is the mouth.

Step 2: Under the top head curve draw a small black eye.

Step 3: Starting at the left head line draw a line that makes a large curve to the left and then back to the right. The right head line also curves down to the left and then back to the right. At the very end curve the back line down.

Step 4: About midway down the back line start drawing the short wing. The top of the wing is wide. Then the two lines bend to the right and down into a point. The point of the wing ends just between the bottom of the two body lines.

Step 5: At the bottom of the left body line draw the short leg. There are three long, pointy toes. There is a line between the tips of the toes. This makes the webbed feet.

Step 6: Just above the first foot draw the three webbed toes of the other foot.

Step 7: Join the front leg line to the right body line to make the tail. Draw a squiggly line with a small pointy tail.

Step 8: Add squiggly lines to the wing and along the body. There are several curved lines at the tip of the wing. Draw a large circle just beside the eye.

Step 9: There is a long bumpy line that runs along the body from the neck line down to the tail.

Interesting Facts about the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis):

The Great Auk was a north Atlantic species of flightless bird that was hunted to extinction in the mid-1800s. It was a large and impressive bird with black and white plumage, a hook-shaped, deeply-grooved and heavy beak and small wings. When grown, it stood 75 to 85 centimeters call and weighed roughly 5 kilograms. The Great Auk was a strong and capable swimmer, and hunted for fish.

Did you know?

  • Over 100,000 years ago, Neanderthals used the Great Auk as an important food source.
  • As early as the 8th century, the Great Auk was hunted for its eggs, meat, oil and down feathers.
  • The Great Auk was once called The Penguin of the North.
  • The Great Auk mated for life; bonded pairs only laid one egg at a time.
  • The egg was incubated by both Great Auk parents, who continued to care for the young auk even after it left the nest.

The Great Auk was one of the first animals to inspire environmental laws. Sadly, these laws came too late. By the time people realized how rare the Great Auk had become, a frenzy to collect samples of the bird’s skin and eggs for display in museums erupted. The last two confirmed individual Great Auks were killed an island off the coast of Iceland on July 3, 1844.