Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Drawing

Art Therapy: Draw by Numbers for Adults

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Art Therapy.
Art Therapy: Paint What You Feel
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you remember those color-by-numbers pages you used to play with as a child? You were provided with the outlines, and your job was to fill them with colors as they showed, to create an artwork the author had planned for you. It was fun without any stress! 

Today, I'd like you to try something similar, but more interesting for an adult: draw-by-numbers with a complex end result. If you follow my instructions, you'll create a beautiful, intricate artwork—safely, without any stress or fear of failure.

This tutorial is part of the Art Therapy series. It teaches you how to use art for relaxation and fun, without putting too much pressure on yourself.

What You Will Need

Look to the right: there's an attachment you need to download to start. In it, you'll find three versions of the template. Pick one and print it.

  • template-numbers: the template with faded numbers (easy)
  • template-no-numbers: the template with the lines only, if you want to keep it clean (medium)
  • template-clear: faded template with no numbers; use it to draw all the lines on your own (hard)

You will also need a tool. It must be something black, thick, and precise at the same time. It can be any marker/ink liner (at least 0.5), even the cheapest one. You can also have a thicker one, for filling big areas and for drawing the final lines (make sure both tools have the same shade of black).

Although the whole piece can be finished very quickly, it will have a higher therapeutic value if you do it slowly. Draw the lines carefully, trying to stay within the outline. Pay attention to every little line, drawing each one in a measured way. There's no hurry—the artwork will be finished either way, but if you do it slowly, you'll enjoy the process more. It's all about the journey, not the destination!

1. Fill Area A

Area A will be filled with vertical lines:

fill area with vertical linesfill area with vertical linesfill area with vertical lines

Step 1

Fill A1. Keep it symmetrical and radial.

lines between the browlines between the browlines between the brow

Step 2

Fill A2. If you start with a "V" in the middle, you'll achieve an interesting effect.

nose widthnose widthnose width

Step 3

Fill A3.

nose trianglenose trianglenose triangle

Step 4

Fill A4. This direction will accentuate the 3D form of the muzzle.

muzzle nose sidesmuzzle nose sidesmuzzle nose sides

Step 5

Fill A5. Tightly placed lines will make the nose look dark without filling it completely.

simple shading nosesimple shading nosesimple shading nose

Step 6

Fill A6, the whisker area.

whiskers shadingwhiskers shadingwhiskers shading

Step 7

Fill A7-A10, changing the direction gradually to accentuate the 3D form of the cheek-bone.

muzzle widthmuzzle widthmuzzle width
between eye sockets and muzzlebetween eye sockets and muzzlebetween eye sockets and muzzle
under the cheekbonesunder the cheekbonesunder the cheekbones
upper cheekboneupper cheekboneupper cheekbone

Step 8

Fill A11.

behind the cheeksbehind the cheeksbehind the cheeks

Step 9

Fill A12.

forehead roundnessforehead roundnessforehead roundness

Step 10

Fill A13.

forehead sidesforehead sidesforehead sides

Step 11

Fill A14 to finish the shape of the forehead.

top of the foreheadtop of the foreheadtop of the forehead

Step 12

Fill A15, the fluff in front of the ears.

ears furears furears fur

Step 13

Fill A16.

simple tiger patternsimple tiger patternsimple tiger pattern

Step 14

Fill A17.

top of the headtop of the headtop of the head

Step 15

Fill A18 to darken the inside of the ears.

inside of the earsinside of the earsinside of the ears

2. Fill Area B

Area B will be filled completely with black. You can use a thicker tool for this task.

fill area with blackfill area with blackfill area with black

Step 1

Fill B1 to create dark nose-holes.

dark noseholesdark noseholesdark noseholes

Step 2

Fill B2 to create the dark "tear path" under the eye.

dark corner of the eyedark corner of the eyedark corner of the eye

Step 3

Fill B3, the dark outline of the eye.

dark outline of cat eyedark outline of cat eyedark outline of cat eye

Step 4

Fill B4 to make the eyes stand out more.

cat eyelinercat eyelinercat eyeliner

Step 5

Fill B5.

line under the eyeline under the eyeline under the eye

Step 6

Fill B6.

tiger pattern simpletiger pattern simpletiger pattern simple

Step 7

Fill B7.

tiger pattern on facetiger pattern on facetiger pattern on face

Step 8

Fill B8.

patter between eyespatter between eyespatter between eyes

Step 9

Fill B9-B13 to create a pattern on the forehead.

little stripes foreheadlittle stripes foreheadlittle stripes forehead
more stripes on foreheadmore stripes on foreheadmore stripes on forehead
tiger eyebrowstiger eyebrowstiger eyebrows
tiger pattern between eyebrowstiger pattern between eyebrowstiger pattern between eyebrows
tiger pattern above eyebrowstiger pattern above eyebrowstiger pattern above eyebrows

Step 10

Fill B14 to give some depth to the ears.

dark earsdark earsdark ears

Step 11

Fill B15 to darken the backs of the ears.

dark back of the earsdark back of the earsdark back of the ears

Step 12

Finally, fill B16—the pupils.

dark pupilsdark pupilsdark pupils

3. Fill Area C

This area should be filled with circles and ovals:

fill area with circlesfill area with circlesfill area with circles

Step 1

Fill C1.

tiger nose patterntiger nose patterntiger nose pattern

Step 2

Fill C2.

tiger nose decortiger nose decortiger nose decor

Step 3

Fill C3. Darkening this area this way will make the eyes stand out even more.

lines around the eyeslines around the eyeslines around the eyes

Step 4

Fill C4.

area around the eyesarea around the eyesarea around the eyes

Step 5

Fill C5 to finish the cheek-bone area.

cheekbone finishedcheekbone finishedcheekbone finished

Step 6

Fill C6 to finish the forehead.

forehead finishedforehead finishedforehead finished

4. Fill Area D

This area will be filled with arcs:

fill area with arcsfill area with arcsfill area with arcs

Step 1

Fill D1. This is where the "mane" starts, and as it's usually brighter, the pattern should look "brighter" too.

tiger mane patterntiger mane patterntiger mane pattern

Step 2

Fill D2.

pattern under the cheekspattern under the cheekspattern under the cheeks

Step 3

Fill D3.

high mane patternhigh mane patternhigh mane pattern

Step 4

Fill D4.

forehead stripeforehead stripeforehead stripe

Step 5

Fill D5.

cheekbones completecheekbones completecheekbones complete

5. Fill Area E

This area will be filled with a leaf-like pattern:

fill area with leaf patternfill area with leaf patternfill area with leaf pattern

Step 1

Draw a line across E1, adjusting it to its shape.

line across the fur strandline across the fur strandline across the fur strand

Step 2

Draw lines coming from the middle line towards the outer edges.

draw leaf patterndraw leaf patterndraw leaf pattern

Step 3

Fill E2 with the same pattern.

tiger fur simpletiger fur simpletiger fur simple
tiger fur leaf patterntiger fur leaf patterntiger fur leaf pattern

Step 4

Fill E3.

furry cheeksfurry cheeksfurry cheeks
full fury cheeksfull fury cheeksfull fury cheeks

Step 5

Fill E4.

tiger fur sidestiger fur sidestiger fur sides
tiger fur sides completetiger fur sides completetiger fur sides complete

Step 6

Fill E5.

tiger face furtiger face furtiger face fur
tiger face fur completetiger face fur completetiger face fur complete

Step 7

Fill E6. We're halfway there!

tiger cheek manetiger cheek manetiger cheek mane
tiger chek mane furtiger chek mane furtiger chek mane fur

Step 8

Fill E7.

tiger fur strandstiger fur strandstiger fur strands
tiger fur strands completetiger fur strands completetiger fur strands complete

Step 9

Fill E8.

fur behind earsfur behind earsfur behind ears
fur behind ears completefur behind ears completefur behind ears complete

Step 10

Fill E9.

ear tuftsear tuftsear tufts
ear tufts completeear tufts completeear tufts complete

Step 11

Fill E10.

full earsfull earsfull ears
full ears completefull ears completefull ears complete

Step 12

To simulate shading, add more lines where the "leaves" seem to cover each other.

simulated geometric shadingsimulated geometric shadingsimulated geometric shading

6. Finish the Artwork

The patterns are all filled in, but the whole thing may look quite confusing to the eyes of the viewer. Let's accentuate some lines to make the tiger's head clearer. You can use the thicker tool for this. If you only have a thin tool, first draw the outline of a thick line and then fill it.

Step 1

Outline the roundness of the muzzle.

outline the muzzleoutline the muzzleoutline the muzzle

Step 2

Outline the furry chin.

outline the chinoutline the chinoutline the chin

Step 3

Outline the cheek-bones.

outline the cheekbonesoutline the cheekbonesoutline the cheekbones

Step 4

Outline the forehead and the eyelids.

outline the foreheadoutline the foreheadoutline the forehead

Step 5

Outline all of the cheeks and the whole forehead.

outline cheeks and foreheadoutline cheeks and foreheadoutline cheeks and forehead

Step 6

Outline the pattern on the cheeks.

outline cheek patternoutline cheek patternoutline cheek pattern

Step 7

Outline the nose.

outline the noseoutline the noseoutline the nose

Step 8

Outline the ears.

outline the earsoutline the earsoutline the ears

Step 9

Outline the fur in front of the ears.

outline ear furoutline ear furoutline ear fur

Step 10

Accentuate the outline of the whole piece.

outline the artworkoutline the artworkoutline the artwork

Good Job!

Your beautiful artwork is finished! You can now treat it as a coloring page and fill it with fantastic colors, or leave it as it is and hang it up on your wall—even looking at it will give you a therapeutic effect, as the intricate patterns keep your brain busy. You can also print the template once again and fill it with any patterns you like, now that you know the rules!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also like the others from the Art Therapy series:

And if you simply want to keep drawing, you may like these simple step-by-step tutorials:

how to draw gemoetric tiger head simplehow to draw gemoetric tiger head simplehow to draw gemoetric tiger head simple
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.