"Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality.” - Edgar Degas
Drawing animals (mammals, fish, pets, etc.) is a popular pastime amongst children. Colouring in pretty pictures of your pets isn’t just for kids, though.
While children can enjoy drawing animals in the zoo, adults can also sketch whatever animal they want (dinosaurs, reptiles, birds, etc.).
Would you like to learn how to draw animals?
Here’s our mini guide to drawing the most popular animals.
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How to Draw a Cat
The cat is one of the most popular animals; mischievous yet gentle, lively and lithe, the cat is popular both with children and those learning to draw.
To draw a cat, you need to know its anatomy. You can measure everything relative to the length of the cat’s head: 3 heads for length the body, 3 heads from the top of the head to its paws, 3 heads for its tail, 1 head for its hips, and 2 for the length of its legs.
Logically, we’ll start by drawing the head as we’ll be using its proportions to guide us for the rest of the body. Start by drawing very lightly. Then build up the skeleton from the spine, tail, and limbs. Once you’ve finished drawing the body, you can move onto the hind legs and then the front legs. Erase any superfluous markings and make curved lines for the cat’s muscles.
You can then move onto the details (mouth, eyes, whiskers, mouth, ears, paws, fur, etc.). Beware that drawing a cat’s fur can be very complicated for beginners. You need to erase certain parts of the fur and accentuate others.
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How to Draw a Lion
The star of the Lion King and the savannah, the Lion is also king of cats and an inspiring animal that fascinates humans. You need to draw it in the following order:
- Fur and mane
To draw the head, start with a rectangle that’s bigger towards the neck. From there, draw the spine up to the hips. Start drawing the paws with a few construction lines, some lines for the tail, then the fur, and the neck. Draw the definitive outlines of the lion: for the upper part of the body and the few lines for the limbs and the joints.
Your lion is almost done, you just need to add some splashes of colour.
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How to Draw a Tiger
Even bigger than a lion, the tiger is one of the biggest and most dangerous predators on the planet.
To draw a tiger, observe its skeleton and its muscular structure. Like all cats, the tiger is a digitigrade, meaning that it walks on its toes, unlike humans who walk on their feet. Keep an eye on this detail.
Start by drawing each part of the tiger’s body before you get started: the mouth, eyes, paws, gait, head, etc.
Start with the line for the top of the head. Draw a line for the back and an oval for the head. From the back, draw two or three circles that are slightly larger than the head; this will set the proportions for the body. Roughly draw the paws underneath; thick but not too long.
Draw the nose, eyes (halfway up the head), and ears (high on the head). You can then outline each limb and colour the fur and markings.
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How to Draw a Dog
Would you like to draw your Labrador, poodle, or German shepherd?
Man’s Best Friend is also a popular subject for drawings. Start your sketch with the head; a square shape at the top right of the sheet. Once you’ve roughly placed the muzzle, ears, and neck, draw a rectangle for the dog’s body.
To add details to the head, sketch out the eyes with some darker markings over the muzzle and in the centre of the head. Drawing a dog’s muzzle, jaw, teeth, tongue, and nose can take some time.
Divide the dog’s body into 4 columns (to keep the proportions) and add the shoulders, stomach, and rear.
Under the head, you can draw a diamond shape to construct the shoulders. With a long cone shape, you can construct the front legs. Two small rectangles can be used to form the paws and toes.
For the rear, draw a trapezium that’s smaller at the back end. Another diamond shape can be used to draw the rear and the hind legs. Add the tail once you’ve drawn the hind legs and finish it off by drawing the neck to join the shoulders to the body.
Now comes the hardest part; drawing the details and the fur unique to your dog.
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How to Draw a Rabbit
Here’s some advice for drawing this carrot-loving pet sitting on its hind legs.
Start by drawing a slightly stretched circle on the top left of the page for the head. Sketch a line for the back of the neck and then add another circle for one of the rabbit’s two shoulders. Draw another line for the spine heading along to a third circle that’s bigger than the other two. This will be the thigh and the hind legs. In the circle for the head, draw a smaller circle as wide as the neck to be the cheeks.
Draw the paws from the two circles we made for the shoulders and the legs and then draw a curved line for the stomach at the join between the two thighs.
Draw a few zigzags on the stomach where the fur is thicker and then draw the muzzle, cheeks, whiskers, eyes, and the start of the ears. Draw two ovals to form the ears. On the body, once you add the fur and some markings, your rabbit will start to take form.
Add shadows, clean up the stomach, paws, muzzle, and tail and finally add colour to your rabbit and some black, grey, and white areas for detail.
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How to Draw a Horse
How can you draw a pony or a horse?
These are the proportions: 1/3 for the head and the shoulders, 1/3 for the stomach, 1/3 for the rear.
Start by looking at each part of the horse; its long head, the shape of the limbs, and the size of the body.
Firstly, draw a small rectangle. You can use this to sketch out the head. Draw the eye on the side of the head (like all herbivores) about a quarter up the head.
You can use the following geometric shapes for your horse: a large rectangle for the muzzle, a trapezium for the forehead and the eyes, triangles for the cheekbones, a rectangle for the cheeks, and two diamonds for the ears.
You can refine the shape of the cheeks and the muzzle with two rectangles tilting downwards. Place the horse’s nose about 1/4 of the way up its muzzle.
You need to pay particular attention to the muscles on the horse’s neck. To draw the body, divide it into three equal parts: the chest and shoulders, the stomach, and the rear. Draw the chest with curved lines using diamond shapes as construction lines.
You can add the horse’s front legs by using flared cones for the construction. Draw a ball for the joint and two rectangles for the hooves. Pay particular attention to the curving on the hooves.
For the horse’s back, use curved lines along the croup. Draw a large oval under the spine for the abdomen. Finally, you can use a large circle to sketch the contour of the croup and the rear.
The hind legs follow the same process as the front legs. You just need to be careful when drawing the mane and tail.
For drawing animals, there are plenty of great drawing sites with tutorials to help you. If you'd like to learn to draw, there are plenty of talented and experienced tutors on Superprof that offer drawing tutorials.
There are three main types of drawing tutorials available: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each type of tutorial has its pros and cons so take the time to carefully consider which type is best for you, your preferred learning style, your learning objectives, and your budget.
Don't forget that many of the tutors on Superprof offer the first hour of tutoring for free. This is a great opportunity to see how they operate, what their teaching style is like, and whether you get along. You can also use this time to discuss what you expect from them and iron out some of the finer details.
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