How To Draw Tigers

Drawing tigers can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple tips, tricks and techniques, anyone can learn to create detailed and beautiful tigers that pop off the page. From sketching the initial outline to adding fur and dynamism, it is easier than one might think. So get your pencils and paper ready and let’s learn to draw tigers!

Getting Started

Before you start drawing, take a few minutes to look at some references of tigers and observe how the features like eyes, stripes etc. are constructed. Also observe how the body and face of the tiger interacts with its stark environment. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a tiger and also help you recognize which shapes and shadows should be included when you draw.

Begin by sketching the initial outline. Draw a rounded triangle for the head and outline the body, tail, legs and feet. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to create different poses. Pay attention to the proportions so the tiger looks natural. Once you get the outline the way you like it, use a light pencil to sketch in the details like the stripes and facial features.

Fur and Texture

Adding fur can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by lightly tracing the outline of the tiger with short and curved strokes. Then, fill in the spaces between the lines with more strokes of the same shape and size. Vary the pressure you use on the pencil to create different shades of orange and yellow. You can add texture to the fur by lightly shading in the direction of the fur growth.

Creating shading is key to making your tiger look realistic. Begin by using light pressure on your pencil to color between each stripe. If there is a light source, you can create more intense highlights and shadows to give your tiger more dimension. Vary the amount of pressure you use to achieve a range of tones.

Eyes and Nose

Tigers have expressive eyes, so it’s important to get the shape and size accurate. Draw a sideways “U” for the eyes, with a circle inside for the pupils. Make sure that the eyes appear wide open to capture the majestic intensity of the tiger.

Next, draw the nose, which should be slightly larger than the eyes. Create the nostrils with a couple of light lines. Details like whiskers can be added later.

Shadows and Details

To make your tiger look more realistic, you can add shadows and details. For shadows, use a blend of one or two darker tones to fill in the areas below the eyes and around the nose. Drawing shadows can be tricky, so don’t be afraid to erase and redraw them until you’re happy with the effect.

Finally, add the details like whiskers, tufts of fur, and highlights. A few subtle details can make all the difference. After you’ve added these details, your tiger is ready to come alive! Just double check all the lines, erase any unnecessary scribbles, and you’re good to go.

Julia is an artist and musician, who grew up in a small town in Ohio, where she played in local bands and painted murals in free time. She moved to NY City to study art at the prestigious Pratt Institute, and then relocated to LA to pursue a music career. Julia loves sharing the knowledge she gathered during the years with others.

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