How to Draw a Tiger Stripe

Written by joshua benjamin
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How to Draw a Tiger Stripe
Getting this close to your subject may not be a good idea. ( Images)

One of the secrets to drawing a good tiger is in its stripes. After all, a tiger without its stripes is just an overgrown cat. Whether you are drawing a cartoon tiger or something far more lifelike, there are a few tips every artist can follow to make a good looking stripe on the jungle cat. To make the task easier, find a photo of a tiger to use as a guide.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Study pictures of tigers - or go to a zoo and view the real thing - before starting to draw. It is vital to get a good picture in your head of what a tiger's stripe should look like, so you can put that same image down on paper.

  2. 2

    Sketch the outline of the stripe lightly on the tiger's body. You may want to draw just a single light line to act as a guide for where the stripe will go.

  3. 3

    Do not make the stripe uniform in thickness. Look at a real tiger's stripes, they aren't one solid bar - they vary in thickness and width all the way from start to finish. Some stripes even split into two branches and reconnect farther down the body. Symmetry is not useful when drawing tiger stripes.

  4. 4

    Draw the tail stripes thicker than the body stripes. Again, look at a photo of a real tiger for reference. The rings on the tail are thicker and wider than the stripes on the body.

  5. 5

    Taper the stripes off at the end. Tiger stripes sometimes go all the way around the body, but more often they stop or start about halfway up the side and then taper off farther down.

  6. 6

    Draw some stripes wiggly. Not all tiger stripes are straight or even mostly straight. Some stripes squiggle down the tiger's side, especially near the legs and underbelly.

  7. 7

    Draw vertical stripes on the body and horizontal stripes on the appendages. Tiger stripes are always vertically aligned on the main trunk of the body, and always horizontal on the legs and tail.

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