How To Draw Armadillo

How To Draw An Armadillo

Capturing the essence of an armadillo in a drawing can be a daunting task. After all, an armadillo is an animal noted for its armour-like carapace, long snout and peculiarly slow shuffle. However, following a few tips and tricks, armadillo drawing can be a truly rewarding experience!
To begin, art supplies such as a pencil, eraser, and paper are necessary. To make the task easier, an artist might opt for graphite paper which will prevent smudging due to its wax-based surface. As armadillos lack appendages conventional to other animals, it is also highly recommended to research the anatomy of armadillos. This will help create a more accurate drawing.
Once the supplies are gathered, begin by sketching out the structure of the armadillo. Outline the body, the arms and legs, and the powerful tail with its clawed tip. When sketching the carapace, remember to make the contouring circles regular in size.
Once the sketching is done, using a pencil, fill in the carapace in greater detail. Move from circle to circle focusing on the darkest regions first, such as in the inner region of the curls and at the edge of the carapace. This process needs to be carried out with caution because lighter lines will create a sense of volume, while darker ones can make the drawing look flat.
Afterwards, use the pencil in a short, intense strokes manner to create an impression of the armadillo’s fur. Focus on creating three-dimensional aspects of the fur, from which direction the fur lies to a sense of the thickness and volume of the fur.
The next step is to use a soft pencil to create the shape of the claws and ears. Darkening the areas of the texture and softly rubbing the fur for a believable, touchable texture.
At this point, lighten any overlapping lines to give an effect of distance and use an eraser to neaten up any sketch lines or unwanted passages. Finally, decide on the pose and pay attention to how the leading lines guides the eye, while using alternating shading techniques to create the armadillo’s shadows.

Additional Tips & Ideas For Drawing Armadillos Successfully

Once all the basics steps are done, it is time to get creative! Here are a few tips and ideas to help take the armadillo drawing to the next level.
For starters, use shading to bring life to the armadillo. Start off with a two-tone background – like a light sky-blue to represent sky and an olive green one to represent foliage. Doing so will create highlights and shadows and give a realistic 3D resutlt.
Another tip is to consider adding layers of armoured shell. A good way to approach this is by making the armadillo look bigger than it actually is by just adding extra “plates” on those regions and surrounding areas. Doing so will also help give the armadillo’s body a more rounded, armoured look.
Additionally, consider adding some interesting and unique details in the armadillo drawing, like small bits of flora on its back or around it, creating a sense of context and atmosphere. Finally, make sure the armadillo’s posture and expressions are believable. Subtle changes such as a droopy tail will help create that visual narrative.

Advanced Colour Blending Techniques

As with most drawings, colour can play a major role in providing depth and realism. Armadillos are fascinating animals that are known for their subtle colour scheme, anything from browns, to oranges, to yellows. Here’s how to bring forth the beauty of the armadillo with a few advanced colour blending techniques.
Before colouring, it is essential to understand the different layers of colour. At the core, the main colour – be it purple, yellow, brown, or grey – is blended with about 20-30% of a darker value or hue, creating an almost shadowed or shaded effect on the illustration. To achieve this, try using a light yellow hue and offset it with a few strokes of a slightly darker yellow.
Alternating between pressure, picking an appropriate texture brush can also help to create a smooth transitional colour effect. To add an extra layer of realism, try a technique called “lifting”. This involves painting a flat value of colour then lifting (or displacing) the colour by using a soft brush with a dry pigment.

Putting It All Together

The last step is to put it all together. Start by using a powerful brush tip to create a system of lines pointing towards the centre of the armadillo. Lines like this will connect the various parts of the armadillo, adding to its anatomy the impression that all the parts have a connection.
Using the same brush tip and a blend of the basics colours used throughout the drawing, increase the intensity of the highlights and shadows. Vary the pressure of the brush for a good contrast and ensure to keep it looking organic and natural. Finally, add subtle details such as patterns, lines and other markings to quickly create a believable armadillo drawing.


Drawing an armadillo is essentially how art notions such as structure, proportion, anatomy, and colour create the essence of life and motion. Everything from blending techniques to motion to the use of contrast and texture can provide a 3D realism that simply can’t be beat. With the right technique, practice, and a little bit of insight, creating beautiful armadillo drawings can be achieved in no time!

Robert Ortiz is an artist who has been writing about art and design for over ten years. His writing focuses on the creative process of art, from the conceptual to the material, and highlights its importance in our daily lives. He has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has also attended other prestigious art schools like Savannah College of Art and Design. He has a passion for exploring the boundaries between fine art, design, commercial work, and technology. His work extends to social media campaigns, website development, magazine articles, video tutorials and more.

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