How to Draw a Wolf (in 17 Easy Steps!)
In this tutorial we are going to learn how to draw wolf … (actually, two wolves!)
Before we begin, if you need information on what equipment to use for cartooning, check out my Recommended Equipment page.
Also, if you are interested in more detailed step-by-step video lessons on how to draw cartoons, check out my Online Courses page.
So how do you draw a wolf? First you need to sketch in some basic shapes and then build him up gradually. Once you’re happy with your design, ink him in and add some color. Follow the pictures down below for more information.
There are two tutorials below. Each tutorial is broken up into three parts:
- the Pencil Sketch – laying down the foundation of our wolf using basic shapes
- the Inking Stage – Once we have a confident foundation sketch, we will then get out our black pens and commit to some ink!
- the Coloring Stage – Once the inking is done, we will take things a little bit further and add in some color!
You can use whatever medium you like, but the materials I used here are as follows:
- Really boring and generic printer paper
- Pencil (HB or #2)
- Thick Black Pens (I used a Posca PC-3M and PC-5M)
- Thin Black Pen (I used a UNI Pin Fine Line 04mm)
- Colored pencils (Prismacolors)
For more information on my equipment, visit my Recommended Equipment page
Alrighty, let’s get down to business…
Part 1: The Sketch
In the sketch stage we are going to first draw in our basic shapes. This will provide us with a foundation for our wolf’s final design. Once the basic shapes design is finished, we’ll refine the shapes with details such as fur, teeth and so on.
1. Let’s start by drawing the biggest shape – our wolf’s body! You can think of this shape as a trapezium with its sides curving out.
2. Next we are going to build on the top part of the shape to create our wolf’s nose! First – Extend the horizontal line out. Then draw a vertical line going straight down. Finally, connect this with the back of his head using a curved line.
3. Now let’s draw in some circles! At the top of the first shape we drew, draw in two circles for eyes. For his nose, draw a circle at the end of his snout.
4. Okay he’s not looking like a wolf yet, so let’s draw in some ears! Draw two pointy triangles poking out from behind each eye. Also, draw in a semi circle next to the ear on the left. This shape will help define our wolf’s head later on.
5. This wolf needs a nice big smile! Draw a curve for the bottom of his mouth. Notice the small line at the end of his mouth on the right. Don’t forget to draw that in too!
6. Finish off his eyes by drawing in some dots for his pupils. To finish off the main shape of his mouth, draw in a small curved vertical line connecting the bottom and top of his mouth. Now our cartoon wolf has got a pretty big head and body (with no neck), so let’s give him some tiny limbs for a bit of humorous contradiction! Start by drawing two small upside down triangles for his legs.
7. Let’s continue working on our wolf’s tiny limbs! For his feet, draw in a semi circle at the bottom of each leg. If you look at the picture above, you will notice that the semi circle on our right is more stretched out than the semi circle on our left. This is because his foot on the right will be viewed from its side, whereas the other foot will be viewed front-on. For his hands, draw them floating in the middle of his ridiculously big body!
8. Next up is our wolf’s tail! The tail has two sides. The one side is just an S curve, while the other is a simple C curve. We have now drawn in all the important basic shapes for our cartoon wolf. Now we can start having a bit of fun by refining all these shapes with smaller details!
9. Our wolf’s mouth is very empty, so let’s now draw in a tongue and some nice sharp teeth! Also we can begin making him look hairy now, starting with that semi circle poking out the side of his head. Just draw three sharp waves following along the original shape.
10. We are almost done with our sketch! Just add a few final details – draw a little reflection on his nose and some fur on the sides of his body. Also draw a zig zag line going across his tail.
How to Draw a Wolf Part 2: The Inking Stage
When inking in a character, it is important to have a good balance of thick lines, thin lines, black areas and white areas. We will start inking in our character’s outlines and slowly build him up with shadows and small details.
11. Get out your thick black pen and ink over the entire sketch of the wolf. He is looking a lot more bold now, but he still needs some darks and some small details, which we will get into next…
12. Fill in the wolf’s mouth with black ink. Be careful not to fill in his tiny teeth – make sure to slowwwly ink around them! Add in a bit of black shadow next to his arms as well. In this step I also thickened some of our outlines to make the wolf look more interesting.
13. Continue putting in shadows. Add in a bit of shadow where his body connects with his tail. Now put in some details with your thin pen. Draw some little zig zags all over his body to make him look even more furry! Shade in his nose with some horizontal lines (don’t touch his little nose reflection though!) On his feet, draw some little lines for his paws. On his ears, repeat the triangle shape inside each ear with the thin pen. Finally draw some random hairs poking out from all over his body.
How to Draw a Wolf Part 3: The Coloring Stage
14. Get out your brown pencil and start coloring over all the areas except for his eyes, nose, tongue and teeth. Also Make sure not to color over the little triangles inside his ears.
15. It is always important to not stop at just one layer of color. Therefore, once you have colored in your wolf, then color him in again! When coloring near the outlines, try and press down on the pencil harder
16. In this step we will add in the other colors. Color in his tongue red and add some pink for his inner ears and nose. Again, be careful not to color in the shiny spot on his nose. Get out your dark brown pencil and shade in some areas to make the brown even darker. In the above picture I shaded in the tip of his tail and his ears.
17. We are at are final step! This is where we do all our final shading. Here I added in extra shadows with a purple pencil (mainly seen here on his tail and around his arm and leg area). I also gave him a final coat of brown. As a general rule, if you drawing looks washed out, just add more color until you are happy with your design!
But Wait – There’s More!
I know that wolves sometimes like to dress in drag and pretend to be people’s grannies, so I thought it would be appropriate to show how to draw another wolf (a Big Bad Wolf) as well! Follow along with the steps below!
How to Draw a Wolf (Big and Bad!) Part 1: The Sketch
1. Let’s start by drawing a trapezium. This will be the foundation for the Big Bad Wolf’s head. This shape is only a guide, so remember to draw it lightly. The top corners of the trapezium will eventually become the tips of the wolf’s ears.
2. In this step, we are drawing in the wolf’s night cap. At this stage it just looks like a jelly bean, but we will make it look more night cappy as we progress!
3. For the wolf’s ears, draw in some triangles. Do this by simply starting at the top corners of the trapezium and draw some diagonal lines going inwards and down towards our wolf’s night cap. Next let’s draw our wolf’s jaw. Draw a square underneath the trapezium. It’s slowly coming together!
4. Now that we have worked on the outer structure of our wolf, let’s now move on to some facial features. For his nose, draw a circle at the top of the square. Then connect the circle to the night cap with a “bent line” on each side of the circle.
5. Now start decorating the night cap. underneath the jelly bean shape, draw in some curvy lines. Next, draw in his eyes poking out from underneath the night cap.
6. Let’s move back up to the wolf’s ears. Make them look more ear-y by drawing in a smaller triangle in each ear. For the wolf’s glasses, simply just draw in some elongated rectangles underneath his eyes. For his lips, draw a stretched out ‘M’ in the middle, a curve on the bottom and finally draw in his upper lip. Finally, shade in his pupils.
7. Now let’s move down to his shoulders. Starting at the wolf’s jaw (the square we drew earlier), draw in some curves sloping down. Add some little skinny arms by drawing some basic vertical lines.
8. We now have the overall design in place, so now let’s start putting some details. Draw in some fur on the wolf’s face (just some spiky curves under his lips and glasses).
9. Our wolf isn’t looking pretty enough, so I think we should draw in some lovely little frills on his nightie. Also, he needs a wet and shiny nose. Draw in a few blobs to create the illusion of reflection!
10. Next! Draw in some details. Give the wolf some sharp fangs and create a chain for his spectacles by drawing a series of tiny circles. Easy! Don’t forget to connect the glasses with a single curved line going across his nose. Okay, that’s the sketch done, now let’s move onto some inking!
How to Draw a Wolf (Big and Bad!) Part 2: The Inking Stage
Now that we have created out sketch, it’s time to grab a black pen and lay down some sweet, black lines!
11. With your thick black pen, draw over all of the dominant shapes on our wolf. But make sure you don’t ink in the inner ears, nose reflection, fangs or details on his glasses. These are much finer shapes which we will draw over with a thin pen.
12. Next draw in some shadows under his collar and under his arms.
13. This is the part where your drawing will really start looking cool. Get out your thin black pen and ink in some details! In addition to drawing over the areas we left un-inked in step 11, also ink in some random dots on his nightie and hairs sticking out in a few random places. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can draw in a series of fine lines across his night cap’s frills. Next get out your browns and pinks and let’s give this dude some color.
How to Draw a Wolf (Big and Bad!) Part 3: The Coloring Stage
14. In this step, we are putting in our first layer of color. Brown for the wolf’s fur and pink for his clothes and nose. Give his lips some red and a light blue for his spectacles!
15. Once you are happy with your base colors, you can then move onto the second layer of color. Get out your purple pencil and lightly shade in some shadows. This will give your wolf a more three dimensional look! With a dark brown pencil, darken the outer parts of his ears and draw in some stripes across his nose. (I don’t think wolves have stripes across their noses, but it looks cool).
16. The overall contrast of our wolf needs to be pushed further. His clothes are quite light, so let’s darken up his fur a bit more with dark brown. Congrats! If you’ve got this far, you have learnt how to draw a wolf (again!).
Okay! If you’re still awake, we have reached the end of the tutorial. If you have drawn alongside me in this tutorial and would like to draw some more wolves, take what you have learnt here and improvise! Jump onto Google Images and take a look at the different types of wolves that exist. Find a few photos that you find interesting and use these as inspiration to design your own wolf.
Don’t forget to…
Whatever you do… whether you’re drawing wolves or something else… I hope that you will always find the time to practice drawing and have fun!
I hope you have enjoyed learning how to draw a wolf, if you are ready to jump into some more cartooning, feel free to check out some of my online courses here: https://www.discovercartooning.com/courses/