How to draw Santa: step by step drawing

How to draw Santa: draw a great looking Santa with a nice pose, sack full of Christmas presents and many fancy details.
How to draw Santa: step by step drawing - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

This tutorial is part of the "Christmas drawings" collection.

Here is another way how to draw Santa. This version improves on our easy Santa drawing by adding a full body, an interesting pose and many fancy details. We end up with a much better looking Santa complete with a sack full of Christmas presents.

Drawing time:
about 10 minutes
You will need:
colour pencils
drawing paper
sketch book

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How to draw Santa: base sketch step by step


Step 1: Sketch the base shape

Drawing step: Sketch the base shape

OK, here we go. Remember that bowling pin from our easy 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

Drawing step: Add moustache and beard

This step is again similar to our easy Santa drawing. Draw a “C” shaped curve for the nose. We want a nice round nose.

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


Step 3: Sketch the face

Drawing step: 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

Drawing step: Draw Santa’s hat

Let's draw Santa’s hat. 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

Drawing step: Draw Santa’s legs and boots

Hey, finally we are getting to giving 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, it is time to learn how to draw 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

Drawing step: 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

Drawing step: Add the mittens

Now, let’s add Santa’s hands. He is wearing warm mittens with the Santa trademark fur cuffs. Draw those the same as the rim on the Santa's hat, just smaller – two short curved sides, joined by two arcs.

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

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

The hand holding the bag is one large curve, shorter and rounder than 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

Drawing step: 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

Drawing step:  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).

Here is an easier way to draw Santa How to draw an easy Santa: step by step drawing
How to draw an easy Santa: step by step drawing - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

How to draw an easy Santa: step by step drawing

How to draw an easy Santa: draw a jolly beetroot-head bowling-pin-body laughing Santa. With closed eyes and long coat, the figure drawing is as easy as it gets.

How to draw Santa: outline the drawing step by step


Step 1: Draw out Santa’s face

Drawing step: 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 2: Draw Santa’s hat and beard

Drawing step: 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 3: Outline arms and bag

Drawing step: 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 4: Draw the coat and belt

Drawing step:  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 then 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 are done with the outline of the coat, we can finish drawing the bottom of the bag now.


Step 5: Draw Santa’s legs and boots

Drawing step: 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 6: Erase the sketch lines

Drawing step: 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 7: Shading and detail lines

Drawing step: 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: finished drawing

How to draw Santa: finished outline drawing

How to draw Santa: finished outline drawing

There is nothing for you to do in this step – we have just wanted to show the completed cleaned up result of our "How to draw Santa" tutorial in a single colour.

We like this bit more than the simple outline in step 6 above. But if you prefer the cleaner drawing, you have a choice.

How to draw Santa: finished drawing coloured-in

How to draw Santa: finished drawing coloured-in

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 hessian 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.

So that is the finished drawing - now you know how to draw Santa.

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And here is another popular Christmas character to draw: How to draw an elf: drawing step by step
How to draw an elf: drawing step by step - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

How to draw an elf: drawing step by step

Learn how to draw an elf in this easy step by step tutorial. We draw a relaxed Christmas elf with pointy nose and ears leaning on a present.

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