How to draw Santa – step by step

Learn how to draw Santa: We will practise on a simple jolly beetroot-head-bowling-pin-body laughing Santa. Then we draw the perfect Santa with a better body, pose and many details.

Here are the two Santas we will draw today:

How to draw simple Santa

Our first Santa is as simple as it gets – closed eyes and a long coat mean no eyes or legs to draw! But with the “trademark” features – Santa’s hat, gloves, large moustache and beard – we still draw a recognisable and cute Santa character.

Our second Santa improves on the simple drawing we have learned and adds a full body, an interesting pose and many fancy details. We end up with the perfect Santa, complete with a sack full of Christmas presents.

How to draw Santa

How to draw a simple Santa

How to draw simple Santa - thumbnail

Our first Santa is as simple as it gets. We will draw a character with a simple straight beard, closed eyes and long red winter coat – that means no legs to draw! The base figure looks a bit like a bowling pin (sorry, Santa…), but since we are adding the “trademark” features – Santa’s hat, gloves, large moustache and beard – we can still tell that the jolly fellow we draw is Santa himself indeed!

Step 1 – Sketch the base head shapes

We start drawing Santa from the head. First, draw a large oval for Santa’s face. Add another small oval inside for Santa’s large and round nose.

The next shape to add is the beard. Start drawing about a quarter down from the top of the head – we want to leave some space at the top for the hat. Draw the beard in a nice heart shape. (If you do not remember how to draw a heart, do a quick side trip to our tutorial for a refresher.)

Well, that is a nice beetroot right there. Err, Santa’s head I mean…

Step 2 -Draw Santa’s face

We keep adding details to Santa’s face. Start with the moustache – draw two curved lines from the middle of the nose, one on each side, all the way just a touch out from the beard outline. Then close the moustache with curves coming back on each side.

Next, add two simple “up” curves for the eyes – that is the easiest way to draw closed eyes. Now draw two small ovals above the eyes, slightly tilted out, for the eyebrows.

And finally, sketch just a simple curve for the mouth.

Step 3 – Draw Santa’s hat

Now for Santa’s hat. Let’s start with the bottom fur rim. First draw the two small curves for the sides, from where the beard joins the head-line. That join the sides with two slightly curved lines.

Now the top of the hat: first the left side, with a nice swoop from the rim up to the centreline of the head. The right side is shorter and points just below the end of the left line.

Then add the pompom on the side and join it with two curves – the one at the top meets the top of the hat, while the lower one ends halfway up the right side.

Step 4 – Draw Santa’s body

Well, if the head was easy to draw, the body is even easier. Since we wanted a really simple way to draw Santa, we have decided to draw his winter coat really long, all the way down to the ground. That saves us drawing the legs.

So the body is two slightly curved lines, starting just under the moustache, and going all the way to the ground. Then close the bottom of the coat with a slightly curved line. Now our Santa has become a bowling pin.

Let’s at least give him some arms: two curved lines out from the shoulder just above the moustache. From the elbows, two lines back to the body. Done!

Step 5 – Finish the sketch with details

Let’s add the final details: First, draw the fur coat cuffs. They are the same shape as the rim on Santa’s hat, just smaller in size. Then draw the mittens – one small arc at the top for the thumb, and a larger curve for the hands.

Now add a rim at the bottom of the coat – you are getting professional at drawing that shape by now.

And finally – Santa’s feet sticking out from underneath the coat – just two simple curves again.

Step 6 – Outline the face

With the sketch done, let’s outline our drawing. Start with the face: two ovals for the eyebrows, eyes and nose.

Here we have redrawn the simple single line mouth into a nice, wide laugh – so draw that one next.

Last comes the moustache, because it is now hiding behind the mouth. Now, that would not work in the real world, would it? But this is a cartoon drawing – and the mouth looks better that way. We can draw whatever we like!

Step 7 – Draw Santa’s hat and beard

Now draw out Santa’s hat. Notice the bottom line is broken up for the eyebrows. Also, we have pulled the sides of Santa’s face a touch closer together.

The beard outline is again broken up for the moustache, as that sits on the top of the beard.

Step 8 – Outline arms and hands

Let’s keep moving down outlining our Santa drawing. Draw the coat sleeves and the cuffs.

Watch out when drawing the mittens – one goes above the other again, so leave the part that is hidden out.

Step 9 – Draw the coat and shoes

No tricks or overlaps in this step, so just simply outline the coat – the fur rim and sides – as well as Santa’s shoes.

Step 10 – Add the details

Well, in the previous step our Santa is complete, but we thought we surely can make the jolly man even happier. All it takes is a few simple lines here and there:

Two small lines on the face – one for the cheeks and one for laughter wrinkles under the eye.

Some lines around the tummy and just under the pompom – and Santa is all shaking with laughter. Ho, ho, ho!

How to draw a simple Santa: complete outline

How to draw simple Santa - black and white outline

Time for our usual final clean-up. Go over the drawing lightly with an eraser and remove any extra sketch lines.

This is it – that is how to draw Santa. For a simple beetroot head bowling pin chap he looks pretty good, I say!

How to draw a simple Santa: coloured in drawing

How to draw simple Santa - completed colour drawing

Colouring in your drawing is always optional, but we like to finish off in style.

This Santa is not only simple to draw, but also to colour in. The hat and coat are all a nice bright red.

Santa’s moustache, beard, hat pompom and all the coat and hat rims are white. Since white or no colour would look too flat, we have used the colouring trick from drawing a snowman – adding some shaded areas around the edges in light blue.

Finally, the mittens and shoes are dark yellows – that could be the leather colour. It also adds some nice contrast to the drawing.

Looking for more Christmas stuff to draw? Let’s learn how to draw a Christmas tree!

Christmas tree drawing – one easy, one fancy Master Christmas tree drawing. Start with an easy Christmas tree from triangles, and improve it with a simple technique into a beautiful Christmas tree.

How to draw Santa

How to draw Santa - thumbnail

Now that we have warmed up drawing simple Santa, let’s expand on the techniques we have already learned. Our second Santa starts as the familiar bowling pin. This time, though, we will give him legs, a more interesting pose and many more fancy details to draw a really nice Santa, complete with a sack full of Christmas presents.

Step 1 – Sketch the base shape

OK, here we go. Remember that bowling pin from our previous Santa? Here it is again!

Draw an oval for the face. Then add the bowl pin body – two curved sides widening out and a curved baseline to close the shape.

Step 2 – Add moustache and beard

This step looks again fairly similar to our first Santa. But this time around, draw a “C” shaped curve for the nose. We still want a nice round nose, though.

For the moustache, we just sketch two simple ovals this time. We will be improving on those when we draw the outline. Similar for the beard – the same heart shape sketch as for the simple Santa – and we will draw it out in more detail in our outline.

Step 3 – Sketch the face

Now add Santa’s face. We will draw nice round eyes, with simple round pupils. Then add two thick moon-shaped eyebrows – again slightly tilted, to give our Santa a happy expression. Finally, add a simple short curved mouth.

Step 4 – Draw Santa’s hat

We draw Santa’s hat exactly the same as before. The only small change is that the pointed top with a pompom is bent more down compared to the one sticking out on our laughing Santa.

So start with the bottom rim – draw the curved sides and join them on top. Then add the pompom where you want it to be – a simple oval.

For the top of the hat, the left side has a nice swoop from the rim of the head all the way to the pompom. The right side just a short line up – to suggest the fold in the hat. Then add the last line in to close the tip of the hat.

Step 5 – Draw Santa’s legs and boots

Hey, finally something new that we have not done before! Let’s give our Santa some legs!

The legs will be made from ovals – a bit like the Michelin man. Start with the top two half-ovals – these are the part of Santa’s trousers that bulge up from under the coat and tighten back into his boots.

The next two “ovals” are our familiar fur rims, this time on Santa’s boots. Here they are more of two short curved sides and a bottom line, rather than an oval.

Finally, time for Santa’s boots. To add some variety, we draw the one on the left, which is Santa’s right, from the side. The one on the right, which is Santa’s left, we draw from the front. (Hey, did I confuse you there? Do you know your left from your right?)

Step 6 – Sketch the arms

That was fun – let’s do it again: Draw Santa’s right arm (the one on the left) pointing up and waving at us. That is the two slightly curved lines up.

Draw the right arm (Santa’s left) bent towards the body – it will hold the bag of Christmas presents. A curved line from shoulder to elbow, and another one from elbow pointing back toward the body. That is enough.

Step 7 – Add the mittens

Now, let’s add Santa’s hands. He is wearing warm mittens with the Santa trademark fur rim again. You should be an expert at drawing the fur rims by now – so add one on each arm.

Next the mittens. (Oh, oh, can I do the left-right thing again? No? Twice was enough? Aaaaah…, OK then).

The waving hand is open palm – one large curve – with a thumb – one narrow curve.

The hand holding the bag is one large curve, shorter and rounder that the open palm, as it curves around the bag (coming up soon!) The thumb is just a short and round curve – it is just the lower part of the thumb, as most of the finger will be hidden.

Step 8 – How to Draw Santa’s present bag

Time to add the big sack of presents over Santa’s shoulder. First draw the top line, which defines the bag shape – a nice swooping curve from the shoulder down to about Santa’s waist.

Then complete the bag – add the bottom line to close it. Draw the jagged end sticking out of Santa’s hand. Finally, the short inner line over the shoulder – that is the bag fold.

Step 9 – Add coat details

Our sketch is almost done – let’s just add the final details on the coat. It needs the fur rim again – side, side and line at the top – done.

Another Santa trademark is the belt over his coat. Draw the belt as two curved lines – a similar curve to the bottom edge on coat. Then add a big square buckle in the middle (it will be partially hidden behind the bag).

Step 10 – Draw out Santa’s face

Time to improve on our sketching, starting with the face!

Here we have added another of the usual Santa props – reading glasses sitting half way down the nose. They are two small circles joint with a curved bridge over the nose. His eyes are then partially hidden behind the glasses – so draw only what can be seen.

The moustache also gets a fancy improvement – we outline the sketched ovals, but add pointy ends twisting up.

The eyebrows get more rounded edges and the mouth stays the same as the sketch. Done.

Step 11 – Draw Santa’s hat and beard

Another sketch improvement coming up right now: When outlining Santa’s beard, follow the sketched outline with a random zig-zag line. The hair around the face points sideways, and as you get lower, the pointed ends go more towards the ground.

Santa’s hat is outlined as sketched. Just do not forget to break the bottom edge for eyebrows.

Step 12 – Outline arms and bag

Outlining the bag, we have decided that the crumpled bag end is actually more wavy curves, then the jagged line we have sketched.

The only other trick to watch out for is that the bag hides part of the shoulder line (on the right arm which is Santa’s left… Stop, not again!).

The rest is a straight outline of the sketch. We have left the bottom of the bag out for now – see the next step.

Step 13 – Draw the coat and belt

Drawing out the coat, we made subtle changes to break the bowling pin shape of the body. The sides of the belt are slightly curved in – the belt is tight, so it narrows the coat outline a bit. The lower part of the coat between the belt and rim the bulges out slightly. Finally, the curve from the armpit to belt curves slightly in.

The last touch is the little fold in the armpit. And since we know the outline of the coat, we can finish drawing the bottom of the bag now.

Step 14 – Draw Santa’s legs and boots

The last bits to outline are the legs and boots. These are a straight outline of the sketch – no fancy improvements here.

OK, almost – we have corrected the size of the legs a bit, so they are symmetrical and even since our sketch was a bit wonky. That is what the sketching and outlining is for – get the rough shape first, improve it the second time around.

Step 15 – Erase the sketch lines

Our usual clean-up to show the completed drawing – erase the sketch lines with an eraser.

That is a pretty good looking Santa – only the drawing looks a tad too flat. Let’s see what we can do about that.

Step 16 – Shading and detail lines

Let’s break those flat surfaces with some sketch lines for details and shading.

Let’s start with the fold lines: two folds on the hat, and the triple line inside the waving arm elbow.

Now some shading: short lines on lower the tip of the hat, under the bent elbow, on the trousers and on the shoes.

And finally, a few more lines to add extra detail: fur on the pompom, random hair lines on the beard and moustache and some texture on the bag. Last we thicken the soles of the boots and we are done.

How to draw Santa: Complete outline

How to draw Santa - black and white outline

There is nothing for you to do in this step – we have just wanted to show the completed black and white drawing of Santa.

We like this bit more than the simple outline in step 15 above. You might prefer the cleaner drawing, if it is your choice.

How to draw Santa: Coloured in

How to draw Santa - complete coloured in drawing

We like to finish our drawing in colour, so here it is. The red and white colours for Santa are kind of given – if you would give your Santa a green coat, he would become an elf, rather than Santa. So: the hat, coat and pants are a nice, bright red – no choice there.

All the fur trimming on the hat, coat, boots and mittens, as well as the mittens themselves, are white. We have again used the trick from drawing a snowman and added shaded areas in light blue, to suggest some volume.

The boots and the sack are a dark yellow – same colour for the leather boots as well as the hessain sack, to add some contrast.

And notice the left out highlights while colouring your Santa – on the hat, on the arms, middle of the bag, coat, pants and boots. These again add bit more volume and variety to what would otherwise be a flat area of paint.

Now that we are finished with Santa, let’s learn how to draw a snowman!

How to draw a snowman: 3 circles to awesome Draw a snowman like the real one you can build in the winter. Drawn from three simple circles, it is the extra details that make it look awesome.
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