Tiger cubs make a charming and delightful subject for the illustrator. Drawing young animals also gives the artist the opportunity to use drawing skills to capture the transition of the creature into adulthood. This is expressed by the gradual maturation of their physical features, as well as the manner in which they develop adult poses. As with any drawing project, the best way to develop your skills is by close observation and repeated practice.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Photograph of tiger cub
- Sketch pad
Observe tiger cubs in a zoo or on film for a sense of how they move and to capture a realistic image of them when you are drawing. If possible, sketch the actual cubs and take several photographs. If you cannot obtain access to an actual tiger cub, use a photograph of a cub from a book or the Internet. Make several copies of the picture.
Draw construction lines onto a copy of the picture for an idea of how the construction line and the final image correspond. Draw an egg shape over the head, positioning the pointed end over the nose and mouth of the tiger. Draw at right angles a line down along the spine of the tiger and lines for the hips. Exact positioning of the lines will depend on the pose and perspective of the drawing. Next, draw lines for the legs and tail. The legs are composed of three lines: from hip to knee, knee to ankle and ankle to claw.
Create the impression of three dimensions by drawing cylinders around the body and limbs, using sketch lines for guidance. Form the head and the joints into spheres or egg shapes by drawing curved lines around their circumferences. Draw in circles for the ears, eyes and nostrils, and draw on the position of the mouth, whiskers and ridges of the nose.
Draw your own construction lines onto a fresh sheet of paper when you are happy with the way the construction lines fit the image. You may want to emphasise the features that are most noticeable about tiger cubs, such as the large eyes and shortness of the limbs in relation to the body.
Draw the actual outline of the skin over the construction lines. Pay attention to the curve of baggy skin between the hips and the belly and the slight curve of the belly itself. Incorporate into the drawing the smooth outline of the skin that is made fuzzy by the fur. Rub out construction lines, and draw the outlines of the stripes over the skin.
Shade the stripes, as well as shadows cast over the cub's body.
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