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3 Easy Steps to Draw Any Animal

I spent far too long avoiding incorporating animals into my work because I worried I would do it “wrong”.  Then once I started putting them into my work, they quickly became my bestsellers and most-commented-on products in my portfolio.  Why did I avoid drawing animals for so long?

If you’re like me, you may have worried that if you can’t draw animals perfectly, then you shouldn’t bother at all.  The truth is that buyers and licensors love animals with some quirky personality, so having the goal of perfection is truly not necessary!

In this post I want to share with you my quick and easy 3-step process for drawing any animal at all, so that you can start diving into drawing animals with confidence!

I recommend practicing these 3 steps many times with a single animal in different poses to get the process down pat.  The more animals you draw, the easier it will get!  Ok let’s dive into the steps:

The Steps

1. The Action Line

  • This is a line that runs from nose to tail and should be a smooth, flowing line.
  • Start simple with a standing or sitting animal, then later try more complex ones like this little fox that is going to peek over a rock!

2. Geometric Shapes

  • Use ovals, squares, rectangles, and triangles to block out the main parts of the animal.
  • It helps to have a reference image handy since most of us can’t conjure perfect proportions out of thin air!

3. Contour Line

  • Last, go over your geometric shapes with a contour line to connect all the parts of the animal.
  • At this stage I spend a lot of time playing with the features on the face since those tend to be the most important for defining the overall mood of the composition.

That’s it!  Now all you have to do is ink and add detail in whatever way fits your personal style.  Not sure what your style is yet?  I actually just made a whole class about defining your animal illustration style!

Define Your Animal Illustration Style Class

  • Learn how to quickly draw animals with confidence
  • Understand what styles are appropriate for various markets and products
  • Define your animal illustration style so your work is cohesive and recognizable