How to Draw Lion King Characters Using Photoshop

Updated February 21, 2017

Disney’s "The Lion King" was one of Disney’s highest grossest movies, and many of us remember going to the theatres to see it back in the nineties. The Lion King is also one of the last Disney movies in recent history to use traditional cartoon artwork instead of digital. The big, colourful cartoon eyes from which the original animes like Astroboy derived their inspiration are now often being replaced by digital figures like Woody and Nemo. Still, the Disney-style artwork will still remain a tradition that will bring parents and children a sense of nostalgia. With this tutorial, you can draw both Simba and Mufasa with ease.

Draw a circle with a horizontal line that cuts across the upper third of the circle.

Draw two 3-D cylinders stacked on top of each other directly below the horizontal line you drew in Step 1.

To the right side of the head, add a half oval for an ear. Directly above the horizontal line that you drew in Step 1, draw two walnut shapes on either side of the top most cylinder.

Draw a very thick eyebrow line at the top of the walnut shape that was drawn in Step 3. In the lower portion of the walnut shapes, draw almond shapes for Mufasa’s eyes. Draw a black pupil inside the almond, and add an eyelid above the almond shape. Inside the top muzzle cylinder, add a downward facing chevron for Mufasa’s nose, and add two small ovals inside for nostrils. Where the two cylinders meet, add a smile line and create a “white area” for lips.

Erase the muzzle guidelines, and give the lower portion of the muzzle a furry appearance.

Form Mufasa’s face. Make the face more angular, creating a triangular, furry cheek on the right, and giving Mufasa a widow’s peak.

Create a mane outline. You can make Mufasa’s mane as thick or as bushy as you want, since this is your picture. You can also make the mane as long or as short as you wish.

Draw the hair details in the mane to show what direction the hair on the mane flows. Afterwards, colour your image.

Draw a circle that has a horizontal line along the upper centre of that circle.

Draw two cylinders that are stacked on top of each other slightly below the horizontal line. The bottom cylinder should be slightly smaller than the top cylinder.

Along the horizontal line, draw an almond shape for an eye on the right-centre side. On the left, draw half an almond. On either side of the head, add ears, which are in the form of three-quarter circles.

Add secondary circles inside the ears, making the portion closest to the head furry looking. On top of the top cylinder that was drawn in Step 2, draw a long rectangle that extends from between the eye almonds, down to the open portion of the cylinder. Add a slight neck and shoulders.

Create Simba’s face. At the end of the rectangle that was drawn in Step 4, add an upside down triangle for Simba’s nose, and add two ovals for nostrils. Below the nose, give Simba cheeks, which is done by drawing a line down from the nose and splitting it into a smile. Draw the bottom portion of the muzzle, making it furry. Blacken the outer area of Simba’s ears and give him a Mohawk. Inside the eye almonds, draw secondary almonds for the whites of the eyes, and adding an oval inside for the irises. Next, add pupils. Along the upper portion of the primary almond shape, add a thick black eyebrow. Diagonally from the lower portion of the right ear, add a jaw line.

Begin forming the body. Between the left and right shoulder, draw a squared-off circle the extends downward an inch. Extending down from the left shoulder, draw a rectangle, then a small circle, then draw another rectangle; all three shapes should extend a total of 2 inches. At the bottom of the lower rectangle, add a horizontal oval for a paw.

Draw two more ovals that are located at the outside left and right corners of the squared-off circle that was draw in Step 6. These ovals will be Simba’s back legs. In between the two ovals, add a quarter of a circle (a large piece of pizza shape) that connect the two ovals and the squared-off circle. At the bottom of the left oval, add a smaller horizontal oval for a paw. Give Simba whiskers on his muzzle.

Trace over the guidelines that were drawn in Step 7, fleshing out Simba. Add toes and a tail.

Ink your drawing, tracing over the lines you created in Step 8. Erase all guidelines.

Things You'll Need

  • Wacom drawing tablet
  • Photo editing and drawing program
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About the Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."