How to draw a tiger – easy cartoon style

In this drawing tutorial, we will learn how to draw a tiger. We will use simple circles for the head and face, with some funky large eyes. We end up with a simple and cute looking cartoon style sitting tiger.

Here is the tiger we learn to draw today:

Complete coloured in tiger drawing

The signature sign of a tiger is his striped fur. Without the stripes, our tiger would look just like another cat drawing.

To give our cartoon tiger some extra character, we have also drawn him with some funky large eyes. Without further ado…

How to draw a tiger- step by step

Black and white tiger drawing

Our tiger drawing builds on the how to draw a cat tutorial. We will use the same pose and a very similar head as our circle cat drawing. Apart from the all-important stripes, we will add a kind of sideburns – a small mane, or longer fur on the sides of the head and on the neck – to turn the cat into a tiger.

Another difference between the cat and tiger drawings is in the width of the body – the tiger is much sleeker – and the length of their whiskers. Since the tiger is much bigger, his whiskers are short compared to the size of his head. So let’s draw a tiger.

Step 1 – Sketch some circles for the head and face

Step 1 - Sketching circles for the head and face

We will start our tiger drawing very similar to our circle cat from the How to draw a cat tutorial.

First draw a large circle for the head.

Next add a tiny circle for the nose, with two slightly larger circles for the cheeks.

Step 2 – Sketch the tiger’s body and front legs

Step 2 - Sketching body and front legs

Since tigers are sleek, rather than round, we cannot continue with the circles for the body.

Rather we sketch the body as two simple, slightly curved lines – combined with the round head, the body makes a bowling pin shape.

Next draw similarly curved lines inside the body for the front legs.

Step 3 – Draw the tiger’s paws and rear legs

Step 3 - Sketching tiger's paws and rear legs

Next we add paws and rear legs.

Start with a straight line for the floor – that will help us keep all the paws in line.

Add two half circle paws at the end of front legs.

Next add two more rear paws, each again a half circle, but slightly hidden behind the front paws.

Finally, sketch the rear legs with two curved lines to suggest a sitting tiger.

Step 4 – Sketch the eyes and nose

Step 4 - Sketching the eyes and nose

Now that we have the tiger’s body sketched, we will improve on the face.

First, let’s add the eyes. Here we have drawn two exaggerated narrow tiger eyes.

Start with the inner almost straight lines sitting on the cheeks to divide the eyes. Next add the top curves, wide enough to just slightly cross the outline of the head. Finally, finish the eye shape with another curve at the bottom, curved just a bit more than the top line. Complete the eye with two simple pupils.

Next we improve on the tiger’s nose. Draw two ovals in a upside down “V” or heart shape from our nose dot.

Step 5 – Add ears and small mane

 Step 5 - Adding ears and small mane

Complete the sketch of the tiger’s head with ears and a mane.

Draw the pointy, slightly curved ears. Add an extra line on the inside to suggest the ear cup.

Real tigers have a kind of short mane, or rather longer fur around the cheeks and behind the head. Let’s add that on each side of the head.

That is ours tiger sketch done. Let’s start outlining our tiger drawing next.

Step 6 – Draw the tiger’s face

Step 6 - Drawing the tiger's face

Let’s start our tiger drawing with the face. First draw the eye pupils as two prolonged ovals. Colour them in black, but leave small white patches in the middle.

Next, draw the eye’s outlines. We really liked the prolonged, narrow shape of the eyes, and decided to exaggerate them even more. Draw the top eye lines even longer, all the way out of the head outline. Then outline the inner and bottom eye curves. Notice we did not completely close the shape of the eye – that makes them more interesting, don’t you agree?

Outline and fill in our upside-down nose. Next, we use the cheeks we sketched. Trace them only partially. Then draw the mouth same as we used for our cat – a kind of anchor shape coming out from the nose, partialy tracing the cheek circles again.

Step 7 – Draw the tiger’s head

Step 7 - Drawing tiger's head

Complete the face by adding short whiskers.

Then trace the head. Start with a few scruffy hairs on top, and continue the lines down to the eyes.

Next add ears. Stop the inner ear line on or just above the eye lines.

Finally trace the sides and add some fur to the tiger’s mane. Complete the head drawing by closing the circle for the chin.

Step 8 – Outline the tiger’s body

Step 8 - Outlining the tiger's body

Now let’s complete our tiger drawing by outlining the rest of the body.

Start with the front paws. Notice we have just slightly bent the bottom of the paw line, just so it is not completely flat on our helping “floor” line. Draw the rear paws second, with the same trick, arching just slightly lower than the front paws again.

Next trace the front legs and the sides of the body. Notice that we stopped the sides just a short way above the paws.

Finally, complete the rear legs. Done.

Now you know how to draw a cat… Oops, again?

Step 9 – Add tiger stripes

 Step 9 - Adding tiger stripes

Yes, I guess the drawing can pass as yet another cat. But we are her to learn how to draw a tiger! So let’s finish our overgrown cat and make it into a tiger by adding some tiger stripes.

For our comics tiger drawing, we simplify the stripes into a pattern of bent triangles. These cover the front and rear legs, with a row coming from one side, and another row in the opposite direction in between th stripes on the other side of the leg. We finish the tiger pattern with two zig-zag lines on the forehead.

Add a final few details to complete the tiger drawing – the fingers on the paws and a scruffy belly outline.

Now, that is how to draw a tiger – from a cat.

Step 10 – Clean up the sketch

Step 10 -  Complete tiger drawing in black pencil

Here is our complete tiger drawing, after we have erased the sketch lines with an eraser.

Step 11 – Colour in the tiger

Step 11 - Complete coloured in tiger drawing

The final step is to colour in our tiger drawing.

Tigers are sandy to brown, sometimes an orange colour. Our is a cartoon style tiger, so we can have him coloured a nice bright orange. Orange contrasts well with the black stripes.

We have left the belly and cheeks white and added some extra fur on the belly and mane.

Finally, two shiny bright green eyes for an extra punch.

 

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