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How to Draw Animals

Learn to use simple shapes to draw your favorite animal kingdom buddy or beast.


  • Step 1: Draw basic form Study your animal photo. Break the form into circles, triangles, rectangles, and oval shapes, establishing accurate proportions.
  • TIP: Begin a fish drawing with a large oval. Use circles for the hips of many four-legged creatures and triangles for heads, ears, and legs.
  • Step 2: Round and contour form Round the animal’s outline and define contour details by observing photo details.
  • TIP: Draw details after establishing outside contours.
  • Step 3: Add details Add features such as eyes, ears, mouths, hooves, fur, and tails. Let your photo guide you in feature placement and in sketching the finer points of each.
  • Step 4: Erase guidelines Erase your original shape guidelines.
  • Step 5: Add shading Add shading to create realism and depth to your drawing. Now you have the basic skills to draw anything from a gerbil to a giraffe.
  • FACT: Did you know? Polar bears are among the animals declining in population as a result of melting sea ice and were designated a threatened species in 2008.

You Will Need

  • An animal photo
  • A graphite pencil
  • Paper
  • An eraser

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