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Drawing Animals

Animal drawing can be very simple and easy. It is necessary to reduce a figure to its simplest shape and then put in some emotion in them. Methods on how to draw animals are easily available in plenty of books. The important thing to remember while drawing is to observe the subjects closely.

Basic Structures

To draw an animal, it is necessary to first have a reasonable knowledge of its anatomy. For example, the shape of its head, the eyes, whether it has long hair or short, the height etc. It is easier to draw by looking at a photograph since the subject is stationary.

Contour Drawing:

Contour drawing or outline drawing is the first step to drawing an animal. The object is to focus on the edges. The lines should be light and thin so that any mistakes or unnecessary help lines can be erased later. The weight of a line gives a drawing, perspective and depth of field. A thick and dark line will make any subject come out of the paper, whereas a light, thin line will sink into the paper.

This property is important to give the impression of an object being closer or far away. Before starting a drawing, it is necessary to select a viewpoint and work accordingly. The features of drawing animals have to be oriented.

Rough Sketch:

Once the contour lines are drawn a rough sketch of the animal is done. Broken lines are joined, curves and angles are defined. In case of animals having fur, which most do, short lines are drawn to indicate fur. The eyes, nose and the mouth are drawn in and ears are sketched.


The drawing is made to resemble an actual animal by adding smaller details, like whiskers, fur at the neck or facial bumps. Shading of certain areas achieves the desired effects. Lines are drawn to make the animal life like. Eyes and other areas that catch the light are highlighted.


Using bold or soft strokes, different textures are created on the body of the animal. Lighter and darker colored areas are differentiated. Lines are drawn to define various parts of the animal's body.

Final sketch:

By now the drawing is almost complete. Only the extra lines have to be erased out and the finishing touches are added to complete the drawing.

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