Slow and cute-as-a-button, the steady sloth is hard to hate. These loveable mammals are an internet favorite for their large eyes and perpetually smiling mouths. If sloths are one of your favorite animals, there's no better way to connect with this unique creature than by learning how to draw it.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to sketch a three-toed sloth hanging from a branch in nine steps. Sounds difficult? Not to worry. All you need to do is take a page from the sloth's book and take your time following the step-by-step instructions. If you're ready to get started, then grab a pencil, pen, and some paper. It's time to draw a sloth!
Learn How to Draw a Sloth Step by Step
Step 1: Draw a spiral
Begin by sketching one large spiral on the page.
Step 2: Add a face
Use the center of the spiral as the foundation for the sloth's head and add two guidelines (one horizontal and one vertical). Then, use the guidelines to help you place a pair of eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the sloth's face. We will come back to fill in the face with more detail later.
Step 3: Sketch an arm
Afterward, sketch one long arm that starts underneath the sloth's head and extends far above it. Use three rectangles to construct the arm's shape.
Step 4: Add the other arm around a branch
Next, add another arm behind the sloth's head. This one will wrap around the branch from the other side, so you will need to draw three long toes at the end.
Step 5: Draw the hind leg
Next, move your pencil back to the body of the sloth and finish the belly and back, and sketch one of the hind legs. Once again, you will want to use rectangular shapes to complete this limb.
Step 6: Add the other hind leg
Then, use the same technique to draw the other hindleg extending slightly out from the rest of the sloth's body. You can use this step to finish sketching the branch as well.
Step 7: Add detail to the face
Now that we've gone over the sloth's body, we can return to the face to add more detail. Refine the wide almond shape of the eyes and darken the center. Then, sketch some wispy hair around the sloth's face and darken more areas around the sloth's mouth and nose.
Step 8: Add texture
Afterward, you will want to add more texture to the sloth—this time, on the body. So, using long sweeping lines, draw a variety of wavy hair wrapping around the head, neck, arms, and back. The pattern of the hair should generally follow a downward motion. Be sure to mix up the texture with some shorter lines as well.
Step 9: Go over the drawing in ink
Finally, it is time to complete your illustration by going over it in ink. Using your pen of choice (we recommend a fine liner), carefully trace over your pencil drawing. Once you feel like you've given it enough time to dry, use a rubber eraser to get rid of any remaining marks. Afterward, you can either fill in the drawing with color or leave it as is for a striking black and white work of art.
Congratulations! You've drawn a sloth.