How To Draw Cute Animals: Step By Step

September 21, 2020

Learning how to draw cute animals can sound really tough, but it is all about using simple shapes: even the best drawings have to start somewhere, and cute styles can be much simpler than you might expect! Here are some step-by-step tips for creating cute animals all on your own:

  1. Get Your Supplies

Make sure you have all the art supplies you need before you start! You will need something to draw on (like paper) as well as something to draw with (a pen or pencil, usually, but markers can work too). If you want to color your drawing, colored markers can work really well for this, but colored pencils can be less messy.

Knowing how to draw is just as important as knowing what to draw, too. Look up other chibi drawings, even if they are from TV shows you like. You can use the design as an unofficial ‘how to draw’ step by step guide if you need to.

  1. Start Small

First of all, you need a head and a body. Cute or kawaii chibi-like styles usually have big heads and small bodies, so do not worry about the proportions. Draw a curved head first, starting from either the top or bottom and then fill in the body second. If you don’t want to draw full feet, you can leave stubby legs instead.

Remember to plan ahead for what you are trying to make. If you are drawing horns, hair, or floppy ears, starting from the bottom of the head is best, because you can leave out the top curve that would get covered up anyway. This also applies to things your animal might be holding, wearing, or even carrying in their mouth.

  1. Finish The Body

Before you add a lot of really small details, you want the body to be done. Finish legs and tails with smooth curves, and try to draw the basic shape of any hair your animal might have (like a lion’s mane). This is an excellent time to add on details like horns or wings, too. Keep using curves whenever you can, especially for big details like hair fringes.

Most kawaii designs use curves more than sharp angles. Smooth curves are best, so try to avoid making anything straight unless the straight lines are part of an important detail: a Zebra might need straight stripes, but they do not need a blocky body.

  1. Add Detailing

If your animal needs any more details, like a hat or scarf, try to draw them on now. They might have a few tufts of hair or a full hairdo: whatever you are adding, make sure to draw them in the same curved style. If you left the top of the head open for hair, you could give them a fringe that goes down their forehead. If you want to add horns or ears, you can usually just draw them on the edge of the head without making them look strange.

  1. Make A Face

There is a reason the face should come near the end: it depends on how you drew the head. Now that all of the other details are in place, you should start making a face near the middle of the head. The kawaii style works best with the big eyes that are far apart, then a mouth in-between and just below them. Some people leave the eyes all black, but others will leave a white dot — both of these techniques can look good, so do whichever you like!

  1. Color It In

Coloring gives you a chance to add even more detail and bring your drawing to life. Use coloring to add the details you could not before, like patterned fur or accessories. Things like rosy cheeks do not need their own borders, so you can draw them on with the colored marker directly.

Other Tips

  • While you learn how to draw in a cute style, remember that you do not need to be accurate with the body. You can draw a four-legged animal with two legs if that is easier or remove details that do not look right when you draw them.
  • If drawing eyes is too hard, you can use lines or curved shapes to make closed-eye expressions instead! These can sometimes even make your drawing cuter than big eyes would.
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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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