How to Learn to Draw Animals Step-by-Step

Written by jakki rochelle
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How to Learn to Draw Animals Step-by-Step
Horses are popular animals for beginners to draw. (horse image by ann triling from

Animals make enjoyable subjects to draw because they are fun, and there is such a variety of species to draw. Sketch your favourite animal or even create a drawing of your pet. Once you learn how to draw an animal step-by-step, you can use the method to draw other animals. Feel free to experiment drawing different animals, as each animal is good practice. Some animals have distinct body shapes, fascinating faces or complex fur patterns, all of which help improve your artistic skills.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drawing pencil
  • Eraser
  • Sketchpad
  • Photo of animal

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  1. 1

    Choose an animal you would like to draw. Pay attention to the details on the animal and its body position, as many details and complicated positions take more time.

  2. 2

    Sketch the main shapes of the animal's body as you observe its posture and proportion. Most animals can be drawn with a few general, circle-like shapes.

  3. 3

    Sketch the smaller parts of the animal's body, such as the paws and tail, using general shapes like rectangles and triangles.

  4. 4

    Use the general shapes as guidelines to draw a more detailed form of the animal. Draw lightly as you go, so you can erase and refine without leaving marks behind.

  5. 5

    Plan the placement of the facial features using light sketches. It might take a few tries to get the placement right.

  6. 6

    Sketch in any markings, such patches, as well as shaded areas on the animal.

  7. 7

    Finish the eyes, nose, and mouth by carefully adding more detail and paying close attention to highlights and shading.

  8. 8

    Begin shading in the darker areas of the animals body, where there is less light or dark markings.

  9. 9

    Finish shading the lighter areas and add any details you notice, such as whiskers, fur texture and patterns.

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