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How to Draw Animals: Foxes

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What You'll Be Creating

Foxes are beautiful animals that some of us would gladly keep as pets. Their distinctive look make them quite easy to draw, especially that they're similar to dogs in many aspects. But what differs the various fox species? And how to create your own species without making it looking odd? Keep reading and I'll show you!

1. How Do You Characterize a Fox?

It may seem a weird question, but it's important to answer it in order to draw a fox instead of a dog. Foxes belong to the same family as dogs (the Canidae) and they share a lot of traits, like the overall shape of the body, eyes, paws, ears, nose, muzzle and tail. Actually, they're so similar that you can successfully use my tutorial about dogs to draw these parts. However, you need to keep in mind following differences:

  • Fox paws are small, attached to long, slim legs;
  • The pupils of true foxes (except of corsac fox) are slit, like cats;
  • The ears are always pointed and triangular (only very young kits and some of domesticated foxes can have floppy ears);
  • The biggest of foxes are about a size of Shiba Inu.

Let's take a look at the main differences between the dog and the fox body. You should have no problem with recognizing who is who, even though I made them in the same size for easier comparison.

How to Draw a Fox
A difference between a dog and a fox

The illustration below shows many features characteristic for a fox. Not all of them need to be met, especially when you're not drawing a true fox. The features that need to be drawn mandatory are:

  • slim body with long barrow, thin legs and small paws;
  • triangular, pointed ears;
  • flattened skull with oblong muzzle;
  • long, distinctive whiskers;
  • long, bushy tail. 

Optional features that you can use when creating your own fox species are:

  • Dark tear mark (a dark patch between the corner of the eye and the mouth);
  • Tip of the tail colored differently than the rest of the body (usually black or white for a good contrast);
  • Slit pupils;
  • The lower body colored lighter than the rest of the pelt;
  • "Socks" of different color.
How to Draw a Fox

2. Draw the Red Fox

Body Features

The most popular species is the red fox. You can use it as a template for every other species, keeping in mind the differences between them.

  • The overall silhouette of the red fox depends on the season and its habitat. The thicker the fur, the "rounder" the body seems. Otherwise, it appears slimmer and longer;
  • The less fur, the slimmer the neck looks. When there's more fur, the head appears to be merged with the neck;
  • Don't confuse the red fox with the maned wolf (it's neither a fox, nor a wolf).
How to Draw a Fox

Color

There are many, many variations of the red fox color, so I'll only describe the most popular one. If you want to learn about rest of them, here's a great source about red fox color morphs .

  • Most of the fur is red, with slight yellowish tint;
  • The hind part is less saturated in color, sometimes even grayish;
  • The lower body is white;
  • The tip of the tail is white;
  • Dark or even black socks are present;
  • The eyes are bright, amber or reddish brown;
  • The back of the ears is black;
  • Dark tear mark may appear, but isn't obligatory;
  • There's a dark stripe running across the body.
How to Draw a Fox

Head Proportions

The head is based on a diamond shape. Follow the instructions below to create your fox head.
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a red fox head - front view
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a red fox head - side view

3. Draw the Gray Fox

Body Features

Although the gray fox isn't a true fox, its popularity provided it a place in this tutorial.

  • The body of the gray fox is slim and long, a bit weasel-like;
  • The tail is long and tapered;
  • The head is small, with short muzzle.
How to Draw a Fox

Color

When observing foxes from distance, you can easily distinguish it from the red fox by noticing the colors:

  • There are three noticeable layers of color on the gray fox body: white for lower body, red for the middle and gray for the top;
  • Slightly lighter socks may appear;
  • The tip of the tail is dark;
  • The eyes are dark brown with oval pupils;
  • Dark tear mark is present.
How to Draw a Fox

Head Proportions

Keep in mind the gray fox head is smaller, with shorter muzzle, it also looks more puppy-like.

How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a gray fox head - front view
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a gray fox head - side view

4. Draw the Arctic Fox

Body Features

The arctic fox is easily recognizable, fluffy animal from tundra. Its winter form is the most popular:

  • The body is short and compact;
  • The white fur is the thickest and warmest of any animal. It's so fluffy that the single strokes aren't clearly visible;
  • Legs seem to be shorter than they really are;
  • The back is clearly rounded;
  • The ears seem short and rounded, hidden deeply in the fur;
  • The head seems to be merged with the fluffy neck.
How to Draw a Fox

When summer comes, the winter coat becomes redundant, and our arctic fox passes into its less impressive form:

  • The body looks slim and long;
  • The tail is less fluffy;
  • The ears become more distinctive;
  • There may be winter fur leftovers all around the body. This kind of fur is not only whiter, but also visibly longer.
How to Draw a Fox

Color

  • The eyes are brown or blue;
  • The fur is white or creamy in winter, black or brown in summer and mixed in between;
  • Dark tear marks may appear only in summer form, when there's some of white fur left on the muzzle.
How to Draw a Fox
How to Draw a Fox

Head Proportions

Fluffy head of an arctic fox may bring a polar bear cub to mind.

How to Draw a Fox
Drawing an arctic fox head - front view
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing an arctic fox head - side view

The fur changes proportions of the head, so keep it in mind in the last phase of sketching.

How to Draw a Fox
Arctic fox - winter and summer form comparison

5. Draw the Kit Fox

Body Features

The kit fox looks similar to a coyote, but it's still a true fox. 

  • The body is very long, slim and almost rectangular in shape;
  • The muzzle is long;
  • The ears are very big, almost fennec-like.
How to Draw a Fox

Color

  • Whole body is fawn, with a grayish layer on the top;
  • The eyes are dark brown;
  • The tip of the tail is dark;
  • The lower body is yellowish white;
  • Fawn socks may be visible.
How to Draw a Fox

Head Proportions

To avoid a resemblance to the fennec fox, make the face longer, and the ears pretty pointy.

How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a kit fox head - front view
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a kit fox head - side view

6. Draw the Fennec Fox

Body Features

The fennec fox is surely the cutest of them all, and, surprisingly, still belongs to true foxes family. These small foxes live in groups and are very social, what makes them easy to tame.

  • Imagine the whole body as puppy-like: short barrow, short legs and big head;
  • The tail is relatively short and tapered;
  • The ears are huge!
How to Draw a Fox

Color

  • Whole body is unitary colored, fawn with lighter lower body;
  • The tip of the tail is black;
  • There's a pale, orange tear mark;
  • The eyes are dark brown.
How to Draw a Fox

Head Proportions

A fennec fox head is small, with short muzzle, huge eyes and ears and small nose.

How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a fennec fox head - front view
How to Draw a Fox
Drawing a fennec fox head - side view

Congratulations! 

Now you can draw any fox keeping the characteristic features of every species. You can even create your own species, keeping it anatomically accurate! If you like other animals too, take a look at whole How to Draw Animals series.

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