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How to Draw Animals: Wolverines, Badgers, Otters and Martens

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This post is part of a series called How to Draw Animals.
How to Draw Animals: Foxes
How to Draw Animals: Weasels, Stoats, Minks, Polecats and Ferrets
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What You'll Be Creating

Mustelidae is a family of ferocious predators... with cute dark eyes. It contain both fearless honey badgers, agile ferrets and brisk otters. This time we'll talk about bigger members of the family only, but don't worry - weasels will have their tutorial too! Keep on reading if you want to learn something about these uncanny, but underestimated animals.

1. How to Draw the Wolverine

Body Features

Wolverines are strong, fearless creatures from the far north. They're the biggest of land mustelids, and appear even bigger thanks to thick fur. The more fur, the softer contours of the body, but it'll depend on season and the condition of particular individual. How can you recognize the wolverine?

  • Five-finger paws are big to facilitate walking on snow, but they also appear bigger when used for plantigrade (bear-like) locomotion;
  • Light, long, non-retractable claws are clearly visible;
  • The tail is thick and bushy;
  • The fur is dark brown or almost black in color. It's also shiny and water-resistant;
  • There may appear lighter stripe at the sides of the body and patches at the chest, but they don't need to be that contrasting like in the example below.


When you don't remember how a wolverine exactly looks, just draw a bear with a fox tail, dog head and round ears - it should work.

Wolverines are plantigrade, which means they walk on their whole feet. Of course, just as with humans, their feet can bend to semi-digitrade position, so a pose like second below isn't completely wrong. However, don't overuse it to create a majestic pose - walking funny is a part of being wolverine!

Rump-flinging is characteristic for plantigrade locomotion

Also, you can use my tutorial about bears to learn about drawing plantigrade paws.


  • The head can be round or more rectangular, depending on the amount of fur;
  • The ears are quite small and round;
  • The eyes are small and dark, with visible eyelids and a light area around. The gaze is keen;
  • The nose is pretty dog-like;
  • The snout is medium-long, quite rectangular in shape;
  • There's a light patch on the forehead, in the same color as the stripe on the body (so if the stripe is faint, the patch on the head doesn't stand out either);
Wolverine head - profile view
Wolverine head - front view

2. How to Draw the Badger

Body Features

The European badger is a stocky animal with short legs with long, coarse fur. They're most definitely the least vicious of whole family, since they're omnivorous, but still approach with high caution. How does a European badger look?

  • Three color parts can be singled out: a black and white head, dark legs and gray body;
  • Paws have five fingers with very long, strong claws used for digging. Hind legs' claws are usually worn out and thus shorter;
  • The tail is quite short, flat and wide.


The general flow of the badger's body is similar to the polar bear. Add short, plantigrade legs and it's done!


  • The snout is long, upturned;
  • The nose is wide, with a bigger lower "anchor";
  • The eyes are very small, with an interested, but tired gaze;
  • The ears are small and rounded;
  • Black stripes are going at the both sides of the head and under it.
European badger head - profile view
European badger head - front view

3. How to Draw the Honey Badger

Body Features

The honey badger is a well-known fierce warrior of animal world. This snake killer has fully deserved its reputation, even though it looks quite inconspicuous:

  • The body is streamline, slim, covered with coarse fur;
  • The tail is medium length and bushy;
  • The legs may seem longer than with other mustelids, since they're only partially plantigrade;
  • The head is visibly merged with the neck;
  • The fur is black, with a gray covering starting on the head;
  • Forelegs are equipped with strong claws. Each paw has five fingers.


The silhouette resembles the sloth, but it's generally better to draw it as a typical weasel, adding long legs and thicker barrow.


  • The head is small, with a quite short, tapered snout;
  • The eyes are small and very innocent-looking for such a ferocious creature;
  • The nose looks like an integral part of the snout;
  • The ears are almost non-existent, what adds up to the overall sloth-look;
  • There's a gray "cap" on the forehead;
  • The snout itself looks bald.
Honey badger head - profile view
Honey badger head - front view

4. How to Draw the Otter

Body Features

Otters are agile, slim animals designed for water environment. There are many of them, here we're going to talk about common otter, typical for all the species:

  • The body is streamline, very agile, with the tail working as a rudder;
  • The legs are short, with webbed, five-finger paws and short claws;
  • The fur is dense and waterproof;
  • The body is brown, with cream underside.


An otter's silhouette is one of a kind, but also quite easy to remember. The most important features are the streamlined body, long, tapered tail and short legs.


  • Otters look happy thanks to specific, short snout;
  • The ears are very small and rounded, they can also be closed underwater;
  • The nose is small, and can be closed just like ears;
  • The eyes are round, placed on a line between the nose and ear.
Otter head - profile view
Otter head - front view

5. How to Draw the Marten

Body Features

Pine martens are one of the cutest murderers ever! Just look at its little cat-like face and big shiny eyes. It's also the most weasel-looking mustelid of all the animals we're looking at in this tutorial:

  • The body is slim, very flexible, with a medium-length tail;
  • The legs are short, but with strong claws that make five-finger paws look bigger;
  • Fur is dark brown, with a light chest and throat.


The silhouette is typical for a weasels.


  • The head is small, with a short, sharp snout;
  • The ears are big and triangular;
  • The eyes are big and round. They give the marten a kitten look;
  • The nose is very small.
Marten head - profile view
Marten head - front view

We're Done!

Congratulations - your knowledge has just increased by another animal family! But there's still some of the mustelids left, so stay tuned for another tutorial of the series. We're going to learn about weasels, minks, polecats, stoats and ferrets!

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