Wolve’s are magnificent creatures and are one of my favorite animals by far. In this article, I have included two tutorials to help you do your own wolf drawing.
First I will go over the steps you can follow to draw a wolf’s head and neck. In the second tutorial, I will show you how to draw a wolf’s body.
How to Draw a Wolf Face & Head Step by Step
The guide shows the best way of drawing the face of a wolf, step by step from the front view.
This is quite an extended tutorial, and if you follow the steps here, it shouldn’t be so hard even for a beginner to achieve a realistic wolf drawing.
It is advisable when you are working on paper that you use very light lines in your drawing. The second stage can be done either using pencils or markers.
You can, of course, also draw your wolf digitally – so if you’re as big a fan of Procreate as I am, get out your iPad and make some art 🙂
Digital art is a great way to explore your creativity – it’s very easy to share your work with the world, plus you can learn new skills that will help you draw more easily.
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How to Draw a Realistic Wolf Drawing Step by Step
As I mentioned earlier in the article, wolves are my favorite animal.
I love how they work with each other and that even though hunters find them to be dangerous animals, there seems to be mutual respect.
I’m not talking about tamed wolves which you can train to protect people or things – I’m talking about wild wolves like those found in North America and Europe.
In this article I will show you how to draw a realistic wolf step by step.
We are going to start with the drawing of the head which is normally where all the detail goes in drawings like these. The steps are quite simple and if you follow them carefully I’m sure you can achieve a realistic wolf head illustration!
Step 1: Draw a Circle
Drawing a circle provides you with a basic shape to draw the wolf face within.
You don’t have to worry about the circle being perfect since you will erase it anyway later on when you are sketching.
That’s why I usually draw circles in Procreate with my finger, but if for some reason you’re not able to do that with your device, use a soft drawing tool instead.
Step 2: Draw and Oval Overlapping the Circle
This is where the wolf’s head shape and facial features.
Step 3: Draw a Vertical and Horizontal Line
The vertical line and horizontal lines should cross over one another and act as a guideline for where you draw the wolf’s head and facial features.
Use the vertical line and horizontal line as connection points for where you should draw the eyes, ears, mouth, and the rest of the facial features on the head.
Step 4: Draw two triangles and two diagonal lines
The two triangles and the two diagonal lines will form the shapes that you will draw the ears and wolf muzzle within.
Step 5: Draw the shape of the wolf eyes
The wolfs eyes are important, as you want to draw them with the feeling of standard wolf eyes.
The outer shape of the wolf’s eyes is just like a tapered half oval. A curved top eyelid meets a curved bottom eyelid at sharp points. The wolf’s iris is a circle shape with a circle pupil in the centre.
When you start drawing, it is always a good idea to draw using a light touch. This means that your pencil marks will be easy to erase when you need to make adjustments in your drawing.
It also means that you can sketch an approximate shape or detail before having to commit to a final outcome.
Step 6: Draw the shape of the wolf’s ears
The wolfs ears fit within the triangular shapes you drew on the circle. They don’t quite meet the point of the triangle, but curve as they reach the top.
Step 7: Draw the shape of the wolf’s nose and muzzle
The wolf’s nose is almost square in shape with a dark area that connects it to the lips and mouth.
The wolf’s muzzle starts at the tip of the nose and extends forward. The top part is a set of parallel lines touching one another, and the bottom part forms a curve underneath the wolf’s chin and continues to join with the neck.
It is almost as though you can see two sets of jaws when observing this portion of the face.
Step 8: Sketch in layers of the wolf’s fur
At this point, you can sketch in the fur to get an idea of where you need to add shading later on in the drawing. The fur lines are essentially jagged lines that are created through the shadows within the wolf’s thick fur.
Step 9: Sketch the shape of the dark fur on the wolf’s face
Sketch out the shape of the dark fur on the wolf’s face. The dark areas of fur help to give shape to the face and the facial features.
Step 10: Sketch in the shape of the light fur lines around the wolf’s eyes
The eyes of a wolf are beautiful and mysterious. Their startling and beautiful appearance is emphasized by the curved shapes around them
Step 11: Sketch in the shape of the wolf’s fur around the brow and nose
Draw the shapes of the fur around the bridge of the wolf muzzle and nose.
Step 12: Draw further fur lines of dark fur
Add further lines of fur to the areas of the eye and muzzle so that the dark shadows and fur marks stand out well.
Step 13: Shade the wolf’s eyes
Fill in the white areas of the wolf’s eyes with your pencil, so that it is dark against the white of the iris. This creates an intense look for the wolf’s eyes.
Step 14: Shade the nose and mouth
Shade the wolf’s nose with solid, dark shading. Then go on to shade the mouth too, to make it appear as though you are seeing darkness between the lips and under the jaw.
Step 15: Shade the wolf’s ears
Softly using your pencil, work in the direction of the hair and shade within the wolf’s ears. You can choose to use less pressure on your pencil if you want the grey fur within the wolf ear lighter.
Step 16: Add shading to the fur at the top of the wolf’s head
Start shading the wolf’s head at the top and work your way downward. To create the impression of the thick fur of a winter coat you can cover the areas with a number of shaded layers.
Build up your layers using short single pencil marks worked over one another. This is a form of hatching.
Add shading to the wolf fur in various places to give it thickness and texture. You can also add shadow along the dark fur lines that you’ve already drawn, and shade in some light marks.
Step 17: Shade around the outside of the wolf’s head
Work your pencil along the lines around the fur of the wolf’s head to get a sense of depth and shadow. You can choose whether or not you want to shade within the dark fur lines that you’ve already drawn.
Step 18: Further shading on wolf’s brow
Work your pencil along the brows of the wolf to create more shading and give it an intense look. The fur around the sides of the wolf’s eyes should be darker than that at the top.
Step 19: Darken the shading on the wolf’s bridge
Continue shading along the bridge of the wolf’s nose and on the dark fur lines around the eyes. This will continue to add depth to your drawing.
Step 20: Further shading around the wolf’s snout and under eyes
Further shading along the muzzle and under the wolf’s eyes. It is important to leave enough white space, but you can go back over the same shading to make it darker if needed.
Step 21: Shade the wolf’s neck and chest
Lastly shade the wolf’s neck and chest layering in your pencil marks for depth and density.
Good job! You have finished your own wolf drawing!
Wolf Body Drawing
I have included this step by step tutorial if you need some help working out the correct proportions of the wolf body.
Step 1: Draw a circle and two triangles
To start your wolf body drawing, draw a circle in the top half of the page. Draw two triangles on the head pointing upwards.
Step 2: Draw a vertical oval connected to a horizontal oval
Now draw a vertical oval below the circle. Connect this to a horizontal oval that stretches out slightly from the body.
Step 3: Draw a vertical and horizontal line
Draw a vertical and horizontal line through the midpoint of the circle.
Step 4: Draw the shape of the wolf body and legs
Wolves have a certain elegance about them with their long legs. Using the elongated horizontal oval as a guide, draw the shape of the hind legs and the forelegs.
Step 5: Draw the nose and shade
Draw the shape of the nose and add dark shading to it. Add shading to the areas that are darkest, then build up your layers if you want more darkness.
You can use short single pencil marks worked over one another (hatching) or quick circular spirals.
Step 6: Draw the wolf’s eyes
Out of all the wolf’s facial features, the eyes are the most striking feature.
Draw the oval, tapered shape of the wolf’s eyelids, and a large iris in the middle.
Step 7: Sketch in the shape of the wolfs main and muzzle
Sketch the shape of the wolf’s main outstretched under the muzzle. You can draw it coming out slightly over the bottom of the horizontal oval.
Step 8: Sketch in the shape of the fur on the wolf’s chest
Add shading along the neck, head, and chest to give the impression of thick fur. Add hatching for density if you need to, or go over existing layers to build up darkness.
Step 9: Sketch in the shape of the fur on the wolf’s back and hind legs
The fur on the upper part of the wolf’s hind legs and on it’s back tends to be darker than the fur beneath it. Draw some soft lines indicating where the darkest area of the fur is in your wolf sketch.
Step 10: Sketch in the shape of the wolf’s tail
Draw the wolf’s tail jutting out from the hind legs.
Step 11: Erase the guidelines
Erase your guidelines and clean up your final drawing. And Voila! You have finished your wolf drawing!
Art Supplies to do your own Wolf Drawing
To start this wolf drawing tutorial you will need some supplies.
A higher number pencil will give you more control over the darkness of your lines, while a harder/lower number will produce lighter lines.
I used a 2B graphite pencil for this Wolf Drawing tutorial, but you can use other levels depending on your preference.
Graphite Pencil Sharpener
When you are experimenting with different levels of darkness in your lines, it is important to have a pencil sharpener on hand.
This will enable you to produce fine lines for detailed work and shading.
You may find using a grip helps you gain more control over your drawing.
A kneaded eraser is important, as you will need it to erase finer details and make corrections.
Heavyweight drawing paper or A3 sketch pad.
The Meaning and Symbolism of the Wolf
The wolf has a rich history and mythology. It has been included in various religions and folklore throughout the years.
For some cultures, wolves were believed to be spirits of the water. The Native Americans also believed that wolves had supernatural powers which gave them their own language (howling).
In Latin America, The Aztecs worshipped the Huitzilopochtli which was a god related to the wolf. It is said that they sacrificed children and prisoners during festivals dedicated to this deity.
In Greek mythology, we find the story of The Arcadian King Lycaon who made an offering of human flesh to Zeus. This displeased Zeus and as a punishment, he transformed Lycaon into a wolf.
We can still find the word “lycanthrope” today that relates to anyone suffering from or who is suspected of having werewolf or wolf tendencies.
In Ancient Rome, there was a place called Lupercal where the mythological founders of Rome, Romulus, and Remus, were found by the she-wolf, Lupa.
In Central America, there were two gods of war and death called Xipetotec and Opochtli who took the form of a wolf when they fought battles.
Finally, it is believed that Odin had two wolves called Geri and Freki who are depicted on some of the Viking jewelry.
There are many more examples of the meaning and symbolism of wolves throughout history that can be further researched online or in books.
Wolf drawings can be quite challenging, but with the right instruction and some practice, you can create your own realistic wolf.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and will be inspired to try more animal drawings in the future. Thanks for joining us on this artistic adventure!
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