We’ll stick with drawing animals in this sketchbook challenge and take a look at how to draw a giraffe.  This long necked critter has a few awkward angles, but by putting basic and easy to draw shapes together, this challenge should be breeze.  In fact, anything at all can be drawn by identifying the simple shapes that make them up and piecing them together.

Step 1 – Draw the Shapes for the Body and the Neck

We’ll first need to establish the main portion of the body and the neck.  And of course, there is a lot of neck.  Three simple shapes will do the trick here.  A triangle is loosely drawn for the main part of the body.  An oval is drawn for the “rump” and a parallelogram is drawn for the neck.

How to draw a giraffe step 1 - draw the basic shapes for the body

Step 2 – Draw Shapes for the Legs and the Head

We’ll build off of the shapes that we drew in the previous step to continue to define the form of the giraffe.  In this step, we’ll draw a couple of shapes for the upper and lower parts of the legs.  We’ll let these shapes slant a bit, making the giraffe look a little more life-like and less stiff.  We’ll also add a simple shape for the head at the end of the neck.  The front edge of the main portion of the body is softened by adding an oval that overlaps the bottom of the neck and the triangle that was drawn for the main portion of the body.

How to draw a giraffe step 2 - Draw the legs and the head

Step 3 – Draw More Legs and Horns

We’ll add a few more shapes to finish off the legs and add a couple of shapes to the bottom of the legs for the hooves.  Shapes are also drawn for the strange horns that exist on top of the head.

How to draw a giraffe step 3 - Draw the rest of the legs, hooves, and ears

Step 4 – Draw the Tail, Develop the Contour, and Add Details to the Head

Next, we’ll define the shape a bit further by smoothing out the contour.  We’ll use slightly curved lines to do so, softening the sharper edges of the original shapes.

A few details are added to the head, such as the eye, the nostrils, and the ear.  The bottom of the head is clarified  with a more defined contour line.  We’ll also draw the tail extending from the back of the main part of the body of the giraffe.

How to draw a giraffe step 4 - Draw a tail, define the contour, and add locations of features to the face

Step 5 – Add the Details and Complete the Drawing

Now, using the structure that has been drawn, the details can be added to the giraffe.  The contours are strengthened by varying the line quality.  Stray lines can be erased. An interesting pattern can be added to the body and marks can be made under the giraffe to mimic grass and to create an area of cast shadow.

How to draw a giraffe step 5 - Complete the drawing by adding details


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