Duo the owl has been an iconic figure in language learning for 10 years — and he’s gone through quite a few makeovers! The round, bouncy Duo we know and love today is the perfect companion for language learners all over the world. Our designers have so much fun drawing Duo (and all of our characters), and so do many of our learners who share their fan art creations! Want to get in on the fun? This easy 10-step guide is the perfect place to start.
Materials needed: A pencil, eraser, and some notebook paper. We like paper that has lines or grid marks to help with spacing and sizing, but even a sticky note will work!
Step 1: Draw a circle
Hey, that’s pretty easy!
Step 2: Add a wavy shape on top
Start on one side of the circle and connect the curved line to the other. These are Duo’s “ears!”
Step 3: Add his wings
Think shark fin-shaped, but a little softer. They should both start where the wavy shape meets the circle on either side.
Step 4: Draw two pill-shaped ovals for his feet
We’re going to have Duo look like he’s mid-jump, so put one foot on an angle to give him that bouncy look! (In Duolingo’s illustration style, we occasionally have elements float above or below a character, such as Duo’s feet!)
Step 5: Have patience with Duo’s eyes
Draw 2 large ovals for the whites of Duo’s eyes. Tip: To get the eyeball spacing exactly right, pretend there’s a third oval right in the middle of the two eyes. And, for extra credit, make the left eye just a tiny bit smaller — since Duo is positioned on an angle, this will help with perspective!
Then draw 2 smaller ovals for Duo’s pupils, inside the larger ovals. Add a tiny circle at the top left of each pupil (this gives Duo a twinkle in his eye!). Then fill in the smaller ovals.
Step 6: Outline his eyes
Give Duo his signature eye mask by outlining the area around his eyes.
Step 7: Add Duo’s eye feathers
Have you noticed Duo’s little feathers on the top of his eyes? They kind of look like stretched-out lowercase m’s!
Step 8: Start Duo’s beak
For the top half of Duo’s beak, draw a half circle right in the middle of the eyes, where the eye mask curves upward.
Step 9: Finish the beak
The bottom of the beak is basically 2 uppercase U’s: one on the outside, one on the inside, and a tiny line for his tongue!
This piece shouldn’t line up perfectly with the half circle — you want the top of his beak to stick out a little bit on the left side. (This also helps with perspective!)
Step 10: Add the final touch
Finish with a feather in his cap, er, belly! Three half circles, to be exact.
Now, just erase any unneeded lines, and color him in. And don’t forget: just like learning a language, drawing Duo takes practice… so keep at it! Once you’ve finished your Duo doodles, be sure to share them on social media and use the tag #DuoFanArt so we can see your masterpiece!