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How to Draw a Tiger, For Beginners

Big cats are my favorite subject to draw. They're elegant and powerful, and their body has a simple, yet beautiful rhythm. Today, I'd like to show you
how to draw a tiger—from the "skeleton" and muscles to the fur, details, and stripes. I will lead you step by step, so that you can follow me at your own pace without getting lost. 

This is a tutorial for beginners, with a single outcome. 
We'll start with a sketch, a set of guide lines that will become a base for the final lines. The sketch should be drawn in a way that allows you to discard it later—with very light lines, with an erasable tool, or on a separate layer.
Draw a circle. It doesn't need to be perfect or drawn with a continuous line, so don't worry if it turns out wobbly. This will be the widest part of the chest.
draw a cicrlce for the chest
Draw a curve coming from this circle, connected to another, smaller circle. This will be the hips.
draw the circle for the hips
Connect the big circle with another, smaller circle in the front. This circle should have two "arms". This area will become the arm and shoulder.
draw another circle for shoulder
Draw a line on top of the "shoulder". This will be the shoulder blade.
draw the shoudler blade
We have all the guide lines we need to build the torso! Add some curves to finish it.
finish the curve of the torso
It's very important to define the distance to the ground before we start drawing the legs. It should be slightly longer than the height of the torso.
define the distance to the ground
Draw one foreleg and one hind leg—both quite symbolic and simple, just to know where they are.
draw symbolic legs
To make the pose more interesting, let's add another shoulder...
draw another shoulder
.... and another pair of legs.
draw another pair of legs
Time for the head. Cats don't have very long necks, so place the circular "head" right in front of the shoulders.
draw the head
Finally, sketch the tail.
draw the tail
Does your sketch look like a tiger already? Great! If there's something not right in it, take a moment to fix it. It's very important to get the proportions right; if you get them wrong, even the finest details won't make the whole tiger look right. So take a good look at your "skeleton" and fix anything that needs to be fixed.

Outline the shoulder blade gently.
outline the shoudler blade
Connect the shoulder to the arm.
connect shoulder with arm
Add some muscles to the torso.
add torso muscles
Sketch the elbow.
sketch the elbow
Add the wrists and ankles.
add wrists and ankles
Sketch the paws in a blocky way. Think of them as hooves for the moment!
sketch the paws
Connect the wrists with the arms.
draw the forearms
Connect the ankle with the hip with one big curve.
sketch the hind leg
Finish the outline of the thigh.
draw the thigh
Outline the calf.
draw the calf
Outline the ankle.
draw the ankle
Add some lines to make the limbs more accurate.
finish the limbs
Draw circles along the tail to plan its width. It should get progressively narrower towards the tip.
sketch the tails width
Outline the tail.
finish the tail
Let's add some toes to these "hooves"! Draw blocky middle toes attached to each foot. The front ones should be slightly tapered.
draw the middle toes
Add the other pair of toes on the sides.
draw the side toes
Add a rounded tip to each toe.
draw toe tips
Add a "thumb" to the visible inner side of the right foreleg, and a bony landmark to the ankle.
draw the thumb
Add the tip of the thumb.
finish the thumb
Add the carpal pad.
draw carpal pad
Divide the circle-head into halves, horizontally and vertically.
divide the head verical
divide the head horizontal
Give the face a slightly triangular look by "cutting" the sides of the circle.
draw sides of the face
Place a circle (the muzzle) in the lower half of the circle.
sketch the muzzle
Divide it into halves as well.
divide the muzzle into halves
Draw the eyebrow line right over the horizontal middle line.
draw the eybrow line
Connect it to the lower horizontal line, creating the nose.
sketch the nasal bridge
Create the forehead by connecting the muzzle with the top of the head.
draw the forehead
Make some space for the ears.
draw space for ears
Draw the ears.
sketch the ears
draw ear detail
Go back to the muzzle. Divide its lower half into halves again.
sketch the mouth
Use these guide lines to sketch the nose and the mouth.
sketch the nose and mouth
draw the nose holes
finish the nose
Draw the oval eyes.
draw the eyes
draw the eyelids
draw the pupils
Add the details around the eyes.
draw the tear paths
draw the eyebrows
draw the eye detail
Accentuate the bones around the face. Make them rounded for a typical tiger look.
draw the cheekbones
Sketch the fur around the face.
sketch fur around face
tiger face shape
Sketch the fluffy chin.
draw the chin
Make some space for the whiskers.
draw the mouth detail
Draw the corners of the mouth.
draw mouth corners
Outline the cheek-mane.
draw cheek mane
Add some additional guide lines we'll need later.
draw additional guide lines
We're done with the guide lines, finally! You can now switch to a more final tool, or simply press harder for more visible lines.
Darken the eyes and give them some eyelashes.
darken the eyes
Draw the details around the eyes.
draw details around eyes
Draw the nose.
draw the nose
Draw the muzzle.
draw the nose detail
draw the tiger muzzle
Draw the ears.
draw the tiger ears
Draw the whole shape of the face.
draw the tiger face
draw the tiger head
Outline the paws.
draw tiger paws
Draw the forequarters.
draw the tiger forelegs
draw tiger muscles
Draw the hindquarters and the torso.
draw tiger legs and torso
Before you draw the stripes, it's better to sketch them lightly first to see how they all work together. First, sketch the pattern on the head.
skethc tiger pattern on the head
If the sketch looks good, darken it.
draw stripes on tigers head
Do the same with the rest of the body. Try to accentuate the 3D form of it with curved lines.
how tio draw tigers stripes
how to draw stripes on tiger body
Finally, give strong, dark outline to the tiger to make the drawing pop.
finish the drawing of tiger

Optionally, you can shade the tiger in a simple way to make it more 3D.
shade the tiger


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