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  1. Design & Illustration
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How to Draw a Wolf Step by Step

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you want to draw a beautiful, realistic wolf? In this tutorial I will show you how to do it step by step, without any reference. You'll learn how to plan the pose, how to add the body, how to create the correct proportions of the head, and how to cover it all with fur. You can use any tools you want!

Before You Start

To get in the right mood for drawing wolves and to remind yourself what the goal is, first take a look at some wolf photos:

1. How to Start Drawing a Wolf

Step 1

When you want to draw something from scratch, it's very important to create a base first. This way it will be easier to keep the correct proportions and pose during the process. Such a base may take the form of a very simple sketch, a shadow of the final drawing you have in mind.

wolf basic sketch

Step 2

Let's build the basic skeleton for this sketch now. First, the chest.

wolf torso

Step 3

Draw the back and turn gently to create the outline of the fluffy rump.

wolf rump

Step 4

Add the shoulder blade in the front.

wolf drawing shoulders

Step 5

Correct proportions are very important if you want to draw a specific animal. Wolves have long legs, so the distance between the chest and the ground should be slightly longer than the height of the chest.

wolf drawing proportions

Step 6

Once you have the ground established, you can build the limbs out of simple lines:

wolf drawing scapula
wolf drawing front leg
wolf drawing hips
wolf drawing hind legs
wolf drawing feet

Step 7

The other pair of limbs must have the same proportions, even if they have a different position. To achieve this, create curvy paths across the joints.

wolf drawing two pairs of legs

Step 8

The joints of the other pair of limbs must follow these paths.

wolf drawing four legs

Step 9

Add the general shape of the head.

wolf drawing head shape

Step 10

Add the neck and the tail in a typical wolf position.

wolf drawing tail position

2. How to Draw a Wolf's Body

Step 1

Time to add some body to this skeleton. First, the big muscle mass of the arm: the biceps and triceps.

wolf drawing arm muscles

Step 2

Add the mass of the shoulder above it.

wolf drawing shoulder muscles

Step 3

Close the shape of this mass with a gentle curve.

wolf drawing full shoulder

Step 4

The shoulders seem to be slightly rotated, so we should see another one, too.

wolf drawing two shulders

Step 5

Draw an oval in place of the thigh. No muscles needed—they would be covered with fluff anyway!

wolf drawing fluffy thigh
wolf drawing other thigh

Step 6

Connect the thigh with the hips.

wolf drawing hips muscles

Step 7

Give a special, detailed shape to the wrist and ankle joints.

wolf drawing joint details
wolf drawing ankles

Step 8

Time for the paws. Wolves have them quite big and flat.

wolf drawing paws base

Step 9

The upper part ("hands" and feet) should be slim, because they're not very furry.

wolf drawing feet and hands

Step 10

Add some muscle mass between the upper body and the paws.

wolf drawing calves and forearms

Step 11

Some more details will be useful here.

wolf drawing muscle details

Step 12

Finish the outline around these simple shapes to create a nice outline of the limbs.

wolf drawing leg outline

Step 13

Outline the main body, too.

wolf drawing main body

3. How to Draw a Wolf's Head

Step 1

The proportions of the head are even more important than those of the body, because we're very good at recognizing faces. We have a clear image of a wolf's face in our mind, and the drawing must match it! Let's add the details of the head carefully then.

Draw a cross on the head to show the middle and the eyebrow line.

wolf drawing head proportions

Step 2

Draw a teardrop shape under the eyebrow line for the muzzle.

wolf drawing muzzle

Step 3

Mark the front of the muzzle. This will add a little perspective.

wolf drawing muzzle front

Step 4

Put "upside-down glasses" on top of the wolf's nose. This will be the space for the eyes.

wolf drawing eye sockets

Step 5

Draw the nasal bridge.

wolf drawing nasal bridge

Step 6

Draw the forehead.

wolf drawing forehead

Step 7

Draw the ears behind the eyes. They're long and rounded on tips.

wolf drawing ears

Step 8

Draw the nose.

wolf drawing nose

Step 9

Draw the circular eyes.

wolf drawing eyes shape

Step 10

Draw the mouth.

wolf drawing mouth

Step 11

The eyes need some more details to be fully wolf-like:

wolf drawing angry look
wolf drawing eyebrows
wolf drawing eye almond shape
wolf drawing pupils

Step 12

Add more detail to the nose as well.

wolf drawing nose details
wolf drawing nose shape

Step 13

Give a detailed shape to the ears.

wolf drawing ears detailed

Step 14

Don't forget about the fur! It really adds to a wolf's head shape.

wolf drawing mane cheeks
wolf drawing ear fluff
wolf drawing fur on the head
wolf drawing cheekmane
wolf drawing ruff

Step 15

Add fur to other places, too.

wolf drawing mane
wolf drawing tail fur

4. How to Draw a Wolf's Paws

Step 1

We already have the base for the paws, so now we need to add the details. First, draw the middle toe (there are two toes in the middle, but in this perspective only one is visible).

wolf drawing middle toes

Step 2

Draw the outer toes. In wolves, the middle toes are visibly longer than the outer ones.

wolf drawing outer toes

Step 3

Connect them with the rest of the limb, creating a little hump right before the toes. This will give them a more accurate look.

wolf drawing top paws

Step 4

Draw the paw pads.

wolf drawing paw pads

Step 5

Draw the claws. They're long, slightly curved, and blunt.

wolf drawing claws

Step 6

Draw the back of each paw with the big pad beneath.

wolf drawing back paws

Step 7

That third paw is in perspective, so it needs a different treatment. Draw all the toes...

wolf drawing paw in perspective

... then the paw pads...

wolf drawing paw pads in perspective

... and the claws.

wolf drawing claws in perspective

Step 8

There are special "wrist pads" on the front legs as well, and dew claws (thumb claws) which are not visible in this pose.

wolf drawing carpal pad

5. How to Finish a Drawing of a Wolf

Step 1

The guide lines are all drawn, and we can create the final lines now. If you've been drawing traditionally, you can use a darker tool for this final outline, or put a new sheet of paper over the sketch.

Outline the nose.

wolf drawing nose details

Step 2

Outline the eyes.

wolf drawing eyes details
wolf drawing eyes outline
wolf drawing eyes dark outline

Step 3

The eyes get their special wolf expression mainly from the details around them.

wolf drawing expression

Step 4

Draw the muzzle.

wolf drawing muzzle details

Step 5

Draw the ears.

wolf drawing ears details
wolf drawing ears fur

Step 6

Outline the fur around the face. Don't try to draw all the single hairs—instead, focus on the clumps and tufts.

wolf drawing head fur

Step 7

Outline the paws.

wolf drawing paws details

Step 8

Outline the feet. Can you see how the guide lines can be used to create additional detail?

wolf drawing feet details

Step 9

Cover the neck with fur.

wolf drawing neck perspective
wolf drawing neck fur
wolf drawing back mane

Step 10

The forelegs are skinny, so we need to add more details to them.

wolf drawing front leg fur
wolf drawing front leg details

Step 11

Add the fluff on the thigh...

wolf drawing thigh fur

... and the belly.

wolf drawing belly fur

Step 12

Add some fur here and there.

wolf drawing fur details

Step 13

When you're done, darken the outer outline and thicken some lines to give them variety.

wolf drawing dark outline

Good Job!

You've learned how to draw a wolf! If you want to keep drawing, don't forget to check these out:

how to draw a wolf step by step
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