How to draw animals – step by step tutorials

Welcome to our how to draw animals tutorial collection. Choose one from our ever growing collection of step-by-step tutorials. Or get a warm up and start with a selection of few very simple animal drawing tutorials for kids and beginners.

How to draw a butterfly with a nice wing pattern Learn how to draw a butterfly - a simple way to draw semi-realistic cute butterfly, including drawing an intricate wing pattern. With bonus biology lesson.
How to draw a turtle: two different ways Learn how to draw a turtle. Start with a simple top view turtle and learn how to draw the turtle shell pattern. Next draw a nice sea turtle from an angle.
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 penguin – young chick and adult Learn how to draw a penguin. First start with a simple and cute penguin chick. After the warmup, we draw an adult penguin bird in a nice dynamic position.
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.
How to draw a spider – simple cartoon style Learn how to draw a spider in an easy cartoon style - cute spider form a single circle and two double circle spiders - an animal and a friendly humanoid.
How to draw a fish using simple shapes Learn how to draw a fish using just simple shapes - arcs, triangles and circles. Let's have some fun drawing a carp, mackerel, angelfish and puffer fish!
How to draw a shark – one simple and one cartoon style Learn how to draw a shark. We draw two very different sharks – one simple with very realistic proportions, the other greatly exaggerated cartoon style.
How to draw a cat using simple shapes Learn how to draw a cat using simple shapes. Let's draw three different cats in three different ways and in three different positions. Plus some extra fun.

If you are very new to drawing yourself or are training a very young budding artist, here are few steps to get you started. For your very first drawings, we have picked up several simple animals which can be drawn from a single basic shape – we will turn an oval or circle into an animal – cat, spider or a fish! Next, we build upon our process by building our animal drawing from multiple shapes. Often, once we learn how to draw one animal, it is possible to use the same basic shapes to draw other animals, such as turning a cat into a tiger or lion by modifying few of the features typical for each animal. But enough words, let’s get drawing animals!

Warmup: Easy animals drawn from a single shape

Our first section is a bit of a warm up. It will get you started drawing animals, even if you have never drawn any before. Let’s see what we can draw from a simple oval:

Our first animal is a simple spider. Draw one oval for the body and two more for the googly eyes. Add eight spider legs and you can already tell what animal we are drawing.

Here is another very different animal drawn from a simple oval:

How to draw a cat with three ovals - sketch the front paws
How to draw a cat with three ovals - draw the cat outline from the sketch

Draw an oval for the head. Then add two crossed ovals just underneath. Next, we add a few details – whiskers, face and a tail – and it is a cute cat having a rest!

Let’s see what other animal can we draw from a single circle.

How to draw a fish from circles - Add face and fins
How to draw a fish from circles - Complete the puffer fish drawing

Here we have started with a simple circle. we have added three more circles to draw a very surprised face. Few fins and spikes, and we have a very surprised puffer fish!

How to draw animals – step by step

Now that you had a bit of practice on the very simple animal drawings, let’s start combining the basic shapes to build up some more interesting animal drawings.

The basic process how to draw animals is similar in all our tutorials:

  • We start by sketching the basic body shape. We use simple geometrical shapes to build up the animal body.
  • Next, we sketch and build the smaller parts of the body – paws, legs, tails, fins – whatever are the right parts for our animal.
  • Next, we add all the details – eyes and facial features, ears, tails, fur or spikes. Quite often, particularly when drawing cartoon animals, you will find that you can use very similar body shape and build very different animals by just adding the features typical for each animal.
  • Finally, we outline the completed animal drawing and clean up the sketch. And if you have colour pencils, you can color in your animal.

So let’s use above guide to actually draw an animal.

How to draw a cat from triangles - sketch the head shape

Here is our basic animal body shape built out of two plain triangles.

How to draw a cat from triangles - sketch the tail

Here we have added the smaller parts – paws, legs, tail and sketched the face features and ears.

How to draw a cat from triangles - complete cat

And here is our completed outline drawing, built from the simple sketch we have done.

If you like how our cat from simple triangles turned out, you can draw the very same picture yourself by following our detailed step by step “How to draw a cat” tutorial.

Hot Tip: draw different animals from a common base

Now before we complete this tutorial with a list of animal drawing tutorials, let’s explore one more trick. Once you have learned how to draw one animal, it is usually quite simple adapting the same drawing for a few other different animals of the same type. Here are a couple of examples:

In our tutorial on how to draw a fish, we learn the basic fish shape. Here it is:

How to draw a fish from two simple arcs - Sketch the fish body

Then we use the very same shape to draw two very different fish – a carp and a mackerel. But not only that – by changing the shape of fins, the very same shape can be used to draw a shark! See, three different animals using one same technique because they are all similar type – they are all fish.

How to draw a fish from two simple arcs - Add head and fins
How to draw a fish from two simple arcs - Clean up the sketching
How to draw a very different fish using the very same style - Draw the fins
How to draw a very different fish using the very same style - Erase the sketch

Try it in the detailed step by step tutorial:

Here is one more example of how to turn one animal drawing into another. Here we have used the fact that tigers and lions are just overgrown cats – at least for our cartoon drawing style. We can simply adapt the cat drawing to a tiger or lion, by adding the “trademark” features for each animal – mane for the lion and stripes for the tiger. Here are the results:

Here is our triangle cat turned to lion:

How to draw a cat from triangles - complete cat

And here the circle kitty redrawn as a tiger:

How to draw a cat using circles - complete cat outline
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