How to Draw a Monkey: Cute Cartoon Chimpanzee

Learn how to draw a monkey in cartoon style. Follow this easy step by step tutorial to draw a cute chimpanzee hanging off the tree and eating a banana.
How to draw a monkey: cute cartoon chimpanzee - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

Our monkey starts from a simple bowling-pin head and body shape. We add the round mouth, heart-shaped “face mask”, thick eyebrows and large ears to build an unmistakable monkey face.

Next, we draw a typical monkey pose – hanging off a tree branch with one hand while eating a banana with the other.

Drawing time: about 10 minutes
You will need: pencil, pen, color pencils, eraser, drawing paper or sketch book

These are our favorites that we use for drawings on Let's Draw That:
Disclaimer: participates in the Amazon Associates Program. If you purchase a product using a link on our website, we earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This is one way how you can support this website.

Love drawing? Never miss a tutorial!


How to draw a monkey: base sketch step by step


Step 1: Draw the basic head and body shapes

Drawing step: Draw the basic head and body shapes

Let’s start our monkey drawing with a simple circle for the head. Then add the face cross to help us place the facial features.

The body is kind of a rounded rectangle – two curved sides and an almost flat bottom.

Well, well, doesn’t this look familiar? This is our basic bowling-pin head and body again.


Step 2: Draw the monkey’s face and ears

Drawing step: Draw the monkey’s face and ears

Next, we add a simple face. Draw two larger standing ovals for the eyes, placed on the horizontal face-cross line. Then add a smaller, flat oval for the nose, placed on the vertical face line. And finally, draw a small curve for the mouth.

Now add two large monkey ears to our bowling pin. They are both simple “C” shapes. Since our head is at a three-quarter view, the ear on the left is partially hidden behind the head. The other ear is placed slightly into the head, rather than on the edge.


Step 3: Draw the monkey’s “face mask”

Drawing step:  Draw the monkey’s “face mask”

This is the trick that turns a boy-with-big-ears face into a monkey face. First draw a flat oval all around the mouth, starting at the top of the nose.

Then add the monkey’s heart-shaped “face mask”. These are two “C” curves, starting in the middle of the forehead at the face centre-line and going down to the oval around the mouth.


Step 4: Sketch the legs and feet

Drawing step: Sketch the legs and feet

Time to give our monkey some legs. As our monkey will be dangling on one hand, his legs also dangle sideways.

Draw the legs as a curve then flat line on the outer side, flat line then curve on the inside. Then add simple “eye” shapes for the feet at the end.


Step 5: Sketch the monkey’s arms

Drawing step: Sketch the monkey’s arms

Let’s sketch the monkey’s arms. First, let’s draw the straight arm up that our monkey is dangling on. It is a simple “C” at the top, and then two straight lines down to the shoulder. Notice the arm is wider at the top where the hand will be, and narrowing down at the shoulder.

Draw the other arm the same way – except this one is bent at the elbow, and sticking out. Again, it is wider around the hand part and narrowing towards the shoulder.


Step 6: Something to hang on

Drawing step: Something to hang on

Well, this is a simple step to finally explain why is our monkey in this unusual pose.

First, draw two straight lines to show part of the branch the monkey is hanging from.

Next, give our monkey a nice curved banana into the other hand. Now the pose makes sense!


Step 7: Sketch the hands and feet

Drawing step: Sketch the hands and feet

Now that we know what our monkey is holding, let’s sketch his hands better. Both hands are in a similar pose – gripping the banana or tree.

First, mark the wrist line with a simple curve. Then, starting on the wrist line, draw the thumb. It looks like a bent letter “B” on the upper palm. Use the same “B” shape, but mirrored, for the hand holding the banana.

Then draw the fingers bent around the objects. These are made from a “C” shaped line, with a couple of short straight lines to suggest the fingers.

Now that you are an expert at drawing thumbs, add two more bent “B” thumbs to the monkey’s feet. That is another monkey feature – having large gripping thumbs on the feet, very similar to the hands, helps the monkey perform its tricks and hang onto branches using either its hands or feet.

Finally, split the feet into fingers with a couple of curved lines.


Step 8: Sketch the final details

Drawing step: Sketch the final details

Well, our sketch more-less looks like a monkey already. But any drawing can be improved by adding extra details. So here we go:

Draw some spiky hair. Double up the face mask at the top to make large eyebrows. Draw the inner pupils into the eyes. Add the inner ear lines. Carve out the nostrils from the nose. Add a cheeky tongue – that banana looks yummy! Now add a belly button. And finally – we’d better peel the banana before our monkey eats it.

Here is another animal drawing tutorial to fill up your sketchbook jungle: How to Draw a Tiger – Easy Cartoon Style
How to draw a tiger – easy cartoon style - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

How to Draw a Tiger – Easy Cartoon Style

Learn how to draw a tiger. We will draw a simple sitting cartoon style tiger with some funky and cute looking large eyes. Get your pencils ready!

How to draw a monkey: outline step by step


Step 1: Outline the monkey’s face

Drawing step: Outline the monkey’s face

Time to start outlining and see what we can improve on our already awesome monkey sketch.

Let’s start with the face. Draw out the eyebrows, rounding off the corners.

Next, draw the eyes. Here we have flattened the bottom of the eye, so the eyes are more a “D” shape. Fill in the eye pupils, leaving a white patch for the reflection.

Fill in the nose – leaving out the nostrils and a white patch for the shiny highlight on the nose.

Finally, the mouth and tongue are just straight traces of the sketch.


Step 2: Draw monkey’s ears and face mask

Drawing step: Draw monkey’s ears and face mask

This step is simple – just outline the ears and the “face mask” – the sides of the monkey’s face and the oval around the mouth.

Then add the scruffy, spiky patch of hair on the top of the head.


Step 3: Draw the monkey’s head

Drawing step: Draw the monkey’s head

Here comes the fun part. Enough of drawing boring flat lines, let’s do some funky random zig-zags! If you remember, we used this technique a long time ago on our scruffy cat.

Outline the monkey’s head with a jagged line. Notice that the spikes follow the shape of the head – pointing sideways on the forehead and down at the jaw, joining together in a downward pointing fluff at the chin.


Step 4: Draw the monkey’s body

Drawing step: Draw the monkey’s body

More scruffy zig-zag lines! Trace the entire monkey’s body with the same scruffy fur outline. Again, notice the direction of the pointy spikes follows the direction of the body.

Finish the scruffy fur with a nice edge around the wrist and ankle lines – a monkey’s hands and feet are not furry.

What a fashionable scruffy fur jumpsuit!


Step 5: Outline the hands and feet

Drawing step: Outline the hands and feet

With the furry “sleeves” drawn, it is time to outline the hands and feet. All we are doing here is rounding off individual fingers from the rough sketch and overall smoothing the lines.


Step 6: Draw out the banana

Drawing step:  Draw out the banana

You can tell we are almost done. Let’s draw out the banana, peel, and part of the tree branch our monkey is hanging off. Now that we have drawn the hands, we can tell which parts are visible and which ones are hidden behind the hand.


Step 7: Draw tree branch and tummy

Drawing step: Draw tree branch and tummy

Well, the final details are here. Let’s draw the tree branch properly, so we can tell what is our monkey hanging off.

And a final improvement – draw the belly button, and give our monkey a furry belly outline, using the familiar jagged lines.

How to draw a monkey: finished drawing

How to draw a monkey: finished outline drawing

How to draw a monkey: finished outline drawing

Well, here is our completed masterpiece, once you erase the sketch lines. Now you know how to draw a monkey – and what a cute, cheeky youngster chimpanzee this one is.

How to draw a monkey: finished drawing coloured-in

How to draw a monkey: finished drawing coloured-in

And as usual, you can colour in your drawing, if you feel so.

The monkey’s hands, feet and face are a peachy skin colour. The fur is usually a shade of brown – we have picked a nice ginger brown colour and matched the lighter colour on the tummy to the dark yellow on the banana peel.

Add some jungle green background to complete your monkey drawing.

And that is all – our “How to draw a monkey” tutorial is complete.

Like this tutorial? Share it with others:
How to draw a lion from a simple triangle sketch - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

How to Draw a Lion From a Simple Triangle Sketch

Learn how to draw a lion using simple triangle shapes as a guideline sketch. Result is a cute comics style lion, which is not triangular at all.

Love drawing? Never miss a tutorial!

Get notified when there is a new tutorial published on Let's Draw That! (2-4 times a month)
Check out the latest tutorials:
Like this? Share the fun with others:
Let's Draw That!
© 2022 Let's Draw
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy