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How to Draw a Lion

Updated on January 12, 2013

If you are lion hearted enough to tackle the daunting task of trying to draw one, read on for a lion's share of instructions!

You can follow along with a digital art program, pencil and paper, ink and watercolor, anything you want. As with almost all forms of drawing, we will begin with shapes. The top of a lion's head is a round curve like this one.

Notice the ovals and triangles that form the ears.

More ovals make the eyes. Slant them a bit and make the corners pointed.

Let some eye lines flow like tears down to the nose. Make the nose relatively large. Begin with an upside down triangle, then round the nostrils onto it as ovals. By now you should check that the two eyes and the nose make a perfect triangle, with the eyes level and evenly spaced from each other and from the central point of the nose. If you arrive at this point and your eyes and nose are crooked, go back and try again.

Two lines smile away from under the nose to form the mouth.

Add some wide angles on the sides as cheekbones and support a jawful of teeth with a large chin. Notice I've added a shadow between the lips.

Sketch out a some rough lines for a mane. Add pupils to the eyes and some lines above and below them for a little depth.

Add whiskers and shape the top of the muzzle.

The pupils are darkened and some background color is introduced. I have chosen a cool gray background color to contrast with the warm golden tones I am planning to give my lion.

Color as you please! Don't forget to highlight the eyes, as this adds life and conveys depth. When shading leave some areas lighter than others. Employ patches of white or a lighter but complimentary tone where you want to add the illusion of a third dimension.


Next time try one from a sideways view! Remember: it's all about shapes.

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    • Silver Poet profile image
      Author

      Silver Poet 4 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Let me know how it turns out!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

      I am gonna come back and try this soon. It just looks doable! Great job, thanks.