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How to Draw a Deer Step by Step

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Read Time: 9 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

For me, a deer is the symbol of autumn—the time when the males of this timid species turn into the real kings of the forest, with a crown of antlers on their heads. Of all the deer species, my favorite is the red deer—not as big as a moose, but more regal looking. 

In this realistic deer drawing tutorial, I'll show you how to draw a deer step by step: from the sketch, torso, legs, and details of the head to a pair of beautiful antlers.

This realistic deer drawing can also serve as an inspiration or as a base if you're looking for deer logo designs. Did you know you don't need any special design software to create a professional deer logo? Using the Placeit logo maker, you can create a logo in minutes, without leaving your browser. Scroll down after this tutorial to find some top deer logos like this one:

Easily customize a hunting deer logo like this one using Placeit logo maker.Easily customize a hunting deer logo like this one using Placeit logo maker.Easily customize a hunting deer logo like this one using Placeit logo maker.
Easily customize a hunting deer logo like this one using the Placeit logo maker.

This is a simple tutorial about how to draw a deer. If you want to learn more about deer anatomy and various species, you'll be interested in the tutorial below:

What You'll Learn in This Realistic Deer Drawing Tutorial

  • How to draw a realistic deer sketch
  • How to draw a deer's legs
  • How to draw a deer's head and antlers
  • How to draw a deer's torso
  • How to finish a realistic deer drawing

1. How to Draw a Realistic Deer Sketch

The biggest problem with drawing real things is that it's very easy to lose proportions. To avoid such a mistake, we need to plan the body before adding any details. Such a plan should be sketched lightly, so that you can fix anything after you finish it. Let's start drawing a realistic deer sketch.

Step 1

Draw a rectangle. This will be the torso of our deer.

base body rectanglebase body rectanglebase body rectangle

Step 2

Measure the distance to the ground. It should be slightly longer than the width of the torso.

distance between bpdy and grounddistance between bpdy and grounddistance between bpdy and ground

Step 3

Find the points where the limbs start.

limbs slots in bodylimbs slots in bodylimbs slots in body

Step 4

Sketch the limbs.

simplified deer legssimplified deer legssimplified deer legs

Step 5

To add a realistic form of the chest, add a circle to the lower left corner of the rectangle.

simplified deer sternumsimplified deer sternumsimplified deer sternum

Step 6

Add an oval to the front of the rectangle. This is the simplified form of the rotated neck.

simplified deer neck rotatedsimplified deer neck rotatedsimplified deer neck rotated

Step 7

Sketch the neck.

deer neck lengthdeer neck lengthdeer neck length

Step 8

Add the head on top of the neck.

deer head simplified shapedeer head simplified shapedeer head simplified shape

Step 9

Add the muzzle to the head.

deer muzzle simplified shapedeer muzzle simplified shapedeer muzzle simplified shape

Step 10

Add the direction of the ears...

deer ears length and directiondeer ears length and directiondeer ears length and direction

... and their general shape.

deer ears simplified shapedeer ears simplified shapedeer ears simplified shape

Step 11

Sketch the antlers step by step:

deer antlers how to startdeer antlers how to startdeer antlers how to start
deer antlers basic shapedeer antlers basic shapedeer antlers basic shape
elk antlers how to drawelk antlers how to drawelk antlers how to draw
simplified deer antlerssimplified deer antlerssimplified deer antlers

2. How to Draw a Deer's Legs

Once you have the sketch deer drawing done, take a good look at it and see if you got the proportions correct. If not, this is the last moment to fix them!

Step 1

The forequarters of many animals can be drawn with a "6" shape, which includes both the shoulder area and the shoulder blade. Draw it for both front legs.

deer forequartersdeer forequartersdeer forequarters
deer shoulders drawingdeer shoulders drawingdeer shoulders drawing

Step 2

Sketch the top of the shoulder blade.

deer shoulder bladedeer shoulder bladedeer shoulder blade

Step 3

Close the whole shoulder area.

deer shoulder areadeer shoulder areadeer shoulder area

Step 4

Sketch the hips.

deer simplified hipsdeer simplified hipsdeer simplified hips

Step 5

Add a circle in the knee area.

deer simplified kneesdeer simplified kneesdeer simplified knees

Step 6

The main muscle mass of the thigh can be created by outlining the knee, the hip joint, and the back of the hip.

deer thigh shapedeer thigh shapedeer thigh shape

Step 7

Add the rest of the thigh by connecting the big muscle mass to the other end of the hip.

deer complete thigh shapedeer complete thigh shapedeer complete thigh shape

Step 8

Mark the wrist/ankle area at around 60% of the limb's length.

deer legs proportionsdeer legs proportionsdeer legs proportions

Step 9

Let's see how to draw deer hooves. Mark the hoof at about one-third of the length below the wrist/ankle.

deer hooves proportionsdeer hooves proportionsdeer hooves proportions

Step 10

Draw the circle in the joint right above each hoof. It should be quite small.

deer hooves base - how to draw deer hoovesdeer hooves base - how to draw deer hoovesdeer hooves base - how to draw deer hooves

Step 11

Sketch a general shape of the hoof. This trick can be useful for drawing horses as well.

deer simplified hoovesdeer simplified hoovesdeer simplified hooves

Step 12

Draw the simplified shapes of the joints. The lower legs of hoofed animals are not very muscular, so the form of the bones should be accentuated instead.

deer leg joints simplifieddeer leg joints simplifieddeer leg joints simplified

Step 13

Add muscle forms to the forearms and calves.

deer simplified muscle massesdeer simplified muscle massesdeer simplified muscle masses
deer simplified calvesdeer simplified calvesdeer simplified calves

Step 14

Draw the characteristic space under the Achilles tendon.

deer achilles tendondeer achilles tendondeer achilles tendon

Step 15

Outline the whole legs. Keep the parts below the wrist/ankle thinner than the ones above.

deer simplified leg outlinedeer simplified leg outlinedeer simplified leg outline

Step 16

Finish the shape of the hooves.

deer hooves detailed shapedeer hooves detailed shapedeer hooves detailed shape
deer hooves shape completedeer hooves shape completedeer hooves shape complete

Step 17

Deer are even-toed ungulates, and they have four toes—two make the actual hoof, and two are hanging in the back. That's how you learn how to draw deer hooves in a simplified way.

deer hooves four toesdeer hooves four toesdeer hooves four toes
deer back toesdeer back toesdeer back toes

3. How to Draw a Deer's Head and Antlers

Step 1

The sketch deer drawing continues with the head and antlers. Divide the head into thirds.

deer face proportionsdeer face proportionsdeer face proportions

Step 2

Attach two ovals to the sides, within the middle third.

deer eye socketsdeer eye socketsdeer eye sockets

Step 3

Draw a smaller oval inside, close to the outer edge of the bigger one.

deer eyes proportionsdeer eyes proportionsdeer eyes proportions

Step 4

Draw a line at about a third of the mouth.

deer mouth proportion deer mouth proportion deer mouth proportion

Step 5

Outline the chin and the nose.

deer chindeer chindeer chin
deer nose shapedeer nose shapedeer nose shape

Step 6

Add the nose holes.

deer nose holesdeer nose holesdeer nose holes

Step 7

Outline the whole head.

deer muzzle shapedeer muzzle shapedeer muzzle shape
deer jaw shapedeer jaw shapedeer jaw shape

Step 8

Draw two circles to create a base for the ears.

deer ear basedeer ear basedeer ear base

Step 9

Connect the ears to the head by outlining their base.

deer detailed ear shapedeer detailed ear shapedeer detailed ear shape

Step 10

Add circles for the base of the antlers.

deer antlers basedeer antlers basedeer antlers base

Step 11

Mark all the points where you want the antlers to branch out.

deer antlers branchingdeer antlers branchingdeer antlers branching

Step 12

Sketch the "branches".

deer antlers sketchdeer antlers sketchdeer antlers sketch

Step 13

Add a circle at every branching. This will help you achieve the right thickness of the antlers.

deer antlers thicknessdeer antlers thicknessdeer antlers thickness

Step 14

Outline the antlers.

deer antlers outlinedeer antlers outlinedeer antlers outline

4. How to Draw a Deer's Torso

Step 1

Next in the sketch deer drawing: the torso. Cross the neck with a line to find its width.

deer neck widthdeer neck widthdeer neck width

Step 2

Outline the neck, creating a diamond shape for the mane.

deer neck manedeer neck manedeer neck mane

Step 3

Add more layers to the mane.

deer detailed manedeer detailed manedeer detailed mane

Step 4

The spine of the deer reaches higher than the shoulder blade. Sketch the characteristic "hump" made by it.

deer back humpdeer back humpdeer back hump

Step 5

Finish the neck.

deer detailed neckdeer detailed neckdeer detailed neck
deer detailed torsodeer detailed torsodeer detailed torso

Step 6

Outline the whole torso.

deer torso shapedeer torso shapedeer torso shape

Step 7

Add the details.

deer taildeer taildeer tail

5. How to Finish Your Realistic Deer Drawing

The sketch deer drawing is finished. You saw how to draw a deer silhouette and how to do a realistic deer sketch. Now it's time to add the final lines. If you're drawing traditionally, it's good to use a darker tool now (for example, an ink liner will nicely cover the pencil strokes), or to place a new sheet of paper on the sketch and draw the final lines on it.

Step 1

Sketch the bulging "eyebrows" of the deer.

deer grumpy facedeer grumpy facedeer grumpy face

Step 2

Draw the eyes with all the details.

how to draw deer eyeshow to draw deer eyeshow to draw deer eyes

Step 3

Draw the nose.

how to draw deer nosehow to draw deer nosehow to draw deer nose

Step 4

Outline the whole head. Not all lines should be outlined continuously—sketch them with short lines to simulate hair.

how to draw deer headhow to draw deer headhow to draw deer head

Step 5

Outline the ears. The darkness inside will make them look fluffy.

how to draw deer earshow to draw deer earshow to draw deer ears

Step 6

Outline the antlers and add some texture to them.

how to draw deer antlershow to draw deer antlershow to draw deer antlers

Step 7

Outline the mane.

how to draw deer manehow to draw deer manehow to draw deer mane

Step 8

Outline the whole body.

how to draw deer silhouettehow to draw deer silhouettehow to draw deer silhouette

Step 9

You can add some details to accentuate the anatomy of the deer.

how to draw deer body detailshow to draw deer body detailshow to draw deer body details

Step 10

Darken the eyes, nose, and hooves.

how to draw a detailed deerhow to draw a detailed deerhow to draw a detailed deer

Step 11

Finally, you can outline the whole animal with a darker stroke, and shade it in a simple way using hatching.

how to shade deerhow to shade deerhow to shade deer

5 Top Deer Logo Designs From the Placeit Logo Maker

Now you know how to draw a deer silhouette and how to draw a deer step by step. I hope you liked this realistic easy deer drawing tutorial. Next up, we'll review some great deer logo templates from the Placeit logo maker.

Customizing these hunting deer logos is super easy. You just need to create an account on Placeit, select the logo you like the most, and personalize it right in your browser. Then you can purchase your brand-new deer logo or get a subscription for unlimited logo designs.

Here are our five top deer logos:

1. Deer Head Logo for a Craft Beer Brand

Deer Head Logo for a Craft Beer BrandDeer Head Logo for a Craft Beer BrandDeer Head Logo for a Craft Beer Brand

Deer heads are a popular choice for beer logos. This logo template features a realistic deer drawing as the center of attention. The strong typography in red pairs really well with this deer head logo. Customize it using the Placeit logo maker.

2. Vintage Deer Logo for a Brewing Company

Vintage Deer Logo for a Brewing CompanyVintage Deer Logo for a Brewing CompanyVintage Deer Logo for a Brewing Company

Looking for more deer logo designs? This one features a whole-body deer and nice typography. While this deer logo is suggested for a brewing company, it could also look great for a clothing brand, for example.

3. Mad Deer Logo for Creepy Gaming Teams

Mad Deer Logo for Creepy Gaming TeamsMad Deer Logo for Creepy Gaming TeamsMad Deer Logo for Creepy Gaming Teams

Fan of creepy designs? This deer head logo could be a great option for you and your gaming team. The deer head logo can be fully customized using the Placeit logo maker.

4. Deer Head Logo for Sports Teams

Deer Head Logo for Sports TeamsDeer Head Logo for Sports TeamsDeer Head Logo for Sports Teams

Do you need a new logo design for your sports team? Check out this fierce deer head logo. The template features a deer head with a profile view and a fierce expression. Pair it with your team's name and you're done.

5. Horror Deer Skull Logo Featuring a Rabid Deer

Horror Deer Skull Logo Featuring a Rabid DeerHorror Deer Skull Logo Featuring a Rabid DeerHorror Deer Skull Logo Featuring a Rabid Deer

Nothing like a deer skull logo to make a truly scary logo. This one features a rabid deer and strong colors and fonts. If you're looking to make an impression, this deer skull logo is for you.

Start Your Realistic Easy Deer Drawing Today!

Did you like this realistic easy deer drawing tutorial? You may also enjoy other animal-themed tutorials of ours:

Or you may want to check out other deer-related tutorials and logo design resources:

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Maria Villanueva. Maria is the Associate Editor of the Tuts+ Design channel.

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