With their towering height, gorgeous coat, and mellow demeanor, it's easy to understand why giraffes are some of the most beloved animals in the world. Even if you don't have a chance to see these gentle giants in person, you can still celebrate their unique beauty by sketching their likeness.
If drawing a giraffe seems like a stretch, don't worry. This tutorial will walk you through all of the steps needed to render its distinctive look on paper. All you'll need to get started is a pencil, eraser, and some paper. Ready to give it a try? Then, let's draw a giraffe!
How to Draw a Giraffe Step by Step
Step 1: Get some photos
It goes without saying that giraffes have unique anatomy. Because of that fact, it is doubly important that you have some good reference photos on hand to assist you throughout the tutorial. Pinterest, Instagram, and Google (Image Search) are all great places to find the pose and type of giraffe you want to sketch.
Step 2: Draw a circle
Begin by lightly sketching a circle for the head.
Step 3: Add the snout
Then, add a rounded triangle shape to the circle—this will be the snout.
Step 4: Sketch the neck
Using the circle as a starting point, draw two sloping lines to create a long, slender neck. Make sure that the neck ends wider than it begins.
Step 5: Draw a diamond-shape
At the end of the neck, draw a large diamond shape with rounded edges. This is where the chest and front legs begin.
Step 6: Sketch the front legs
Next, add the front legs to the bottom of the diamond. Start with a long, thin rectangle that ends with a circle. Then, add another thin rectangle, circle, and finally trapezoidal hooves.
Step 7: Draw the stomach
Using the bottom of the diamond as another starting point, draw a rounded stomach. End it with a large, oval shape that is more or less parallel with the diamond.
Step 8: Sketch the back and tail
Complete the bulk of the body by sketching a sloping back. Then, add a long tail by the giraffe's hindquarters that ends with a tuft.
Step 9: Draw the hind legs
Next, we'll draw the hind legs. Just like horses, these legs should bend slightly. Remember to add two circles to the end before you sketch the hooves.
Step 10: Draw the horns and ear
At the very top of the giraffe's head, draw two rounded horns. Then, sketch a large, triangle-shaped ear where the head meets the top of the neck.
Step 11: Add the facial features and mane
As we continue to add detail to the giraffe's face, draw a large, almond-shaped eye below the horns and to the right of the ear. Next, we'll add more definition to the giraffe's snout and carve out a protruding top lip, and rounded chin. Then, add a nostril above the mouth.
Afterward, sketch a long mane that runs along the giraffe's neck.
Step 12: Erase the guidelines
Finally, you can erase any unnecessary guidelines and pencil marks. This is a good time to look over your sketch and make sure you're satisfied with the proportions of the giraffe before we move on to the finishing touches.
Step 13: Add the pattern
Now that we've drawn the body of a giraffe, it's time to add its striking pattern. This may seem intimidating, but once you get started, it becomes pretty easy. So, using a reference photo of a giraffe, start drawing wobbly rectangular shapes all over the body. You'll notice that these shapes should become smaller as you go down the legs, and once you reach the face. Keep the stomach mostly bare of any spots.
Step 14: Go over the drawing in ink
Finally, it is time to go over your final drawing in ink. Using your favorite pen, slowly trace over the lines, taking care not to smear any ink. Once you've gone over the entire drawing, and given the ink ample time to dry, carefully erase any remaining pencil marks.
Afterward, you can either add color to your illustration or leave it as is for a striking black and white drawing of a giraffe!
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