In this drawing challenge, we’ll take a look at how to draw a tiger.  Here again, the drawing process will be broken down into easy to follow steps.  In each step of the drawing, we’ll analyze the form of the tiger and look for shapes.

By layering these shapes, we can build up a drawing that is proportional and accurate.  It is important to stay loose in the beginning stages of the drawing.  Don’t be afraid to make several marks on the surface as you find the “right” mark.

Step 1 – Draw Overlapping Shapes for the Body

For this drawing, the tiger will be walking towards the viewer.  A scary thought in reality, but a pretty cool pose for a drawing.  We’ll draw two overlapping ovals to begin to establish the form of the body.  The larger oval on the left represents the main portion of the tiger, while the smaller oval on the right will become the head.

How to Draw a Tiger Step One - Draw shapes for the body

Step 2 – Ears, Snout, Upper Legs, and Tail

Using the overlapping shapes that were drawn in the last step, we can begin to add some the features that will turn these basic shapes into a tiger.  A couple of lines are drawn for the ears and the upper portions of the eyes.  The shape of the snout is defined dropping lower than the bottom of the circle that was drawn for the face.  Shapes are drawn for the upper portions of the legs and a line is drawn for the tail.

How to Draw a Tiger Step Two - Ears, snout, tail, and upper legs

Step 3 – Draw the Lower Portions of the Legs, and Add a Few Details

We’ll add the bottom portions of the legs using simple shapes.  A line is also drawn to define the “chest” of the tiger and the straighter left leg.  A few lines are made to communicate a bit of information about the mouth and the bottom of the eyes.

How to Draw a Tiger Step Three - Lower legs, details on the face

Step 4 – Draw the Paws, Thicken Up the Tail, and Add More Details

The third segment of the leg is the paw.  Here again, simple shapes are used to indicate them.  The line that was drawn for the tail is thickened and the face of the tiger receives a bit more definition.  The ears also receive a bit more detail as well.

How to Draw a Tiger Step Four - Draw the paws, and thicken up the body

Step 5 – Finish the Drawing of a Tiger

The shapes that have been drawn in the previous steps can be used as a guide to finish the drawing.  It appears that a lot has happened from the last step to this one, but in reality, just details have been added to the structure that has already been established. When adding the stripes, be sure to think about the form of the tiger and draw the lines as they follow the contours of the tiger. The stripes will be thicker in the center and taper as they go around the body.

Details in the face and mouth are also developed further by making some areas darker. The lines that define the shape of the tiger may get thicker in areas and a variety of lines are used to create the illusion of fur.  Be sure to add a few areas of core shadow on the tiger and a bit of cast shadow underneath.

How to Draw a Tiger - Finish the drawing


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