In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at drawing a cow.  The shapes that go into drawing a cow are pretty simple, so this challenge should be fairly “light”.  Here again, the key is simply to find the basic shapes and draw them.  This tutorial demonstrates one way to draw a cow, but the real challenge comes from drawing one from a photo reference or even from life.  You’ll still need to find the basic shapes when drawing one from a reference, and that’s where the practice pays off in the work.

Step 1 – Draw a Shape for the Head and the Body

This cow is showing us a side-view pose, so we’ll start by drawing the bulk of the body.  We’ll accomplish this with a simple oval.  We’ll also need to establish the location of the head.  For this, we’ll draw a circle that is just offset from the body on the right.

How to draw a cow step 1 - draw the head and body

Step 2 – Draw the Upper Legs, The Rump, and Some Ears

We’ll build off of the initial shapes that we drew in the first step and add the upper portions of the legs.  These shapes will vary depending on the pose of the cow.  We’ll also need to draw a couple of shapes for the ears which will extend out from the circle that was drawn for the head.  The end of the cow can be added using a line that bows upward in segments and connects to the top of the body oval near the middle and on the left end.

How to draw a cow step 2 - Upper legs and ears

Step 3 – Draw the Middle and Lower Portions of the Legs, Head and Eye

At the end of this stage, our cow will start to look like – well, a cow.  We’ll draw a line down from the circle that we drew in the first step for the head to extend the shape of the head downward.  This line will bend a bit to create a more accurate shape of the head.  We’ll also add an eye on the side of the head.  A couple of shapes are added underneath the upper parts of the legs for the middle and lower portions of the legs.  A line is also drawn to connect the back of the head to the center portion of the back.

How to draw a cow step 3 - draw the lower legs, define the head, and facial features

Step 4 – Add the Hooves and Define the Body

We now will add the hooves at the bottom of the legs to finish them off.  We’ll draw  a line for the mouth and now we’re ready for some details.

How to draw a cow step 4 - finish the legs and define the face

Step 5 – Finish the drawing of a Cow

Now we can finish the drawing by adding all of the necessary details.  These include the dark spots, and the nostrils on the face.  You may also darken in the eye – but leave an area of white for a highlight.  

A few vertical lines can be added for the grass and shadow can be added underneath the cow to create the illusion of a light source. Oh, and don’t forget a tail.

How to draw a cow step 5 - finish the drawing with some details


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