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How to Draw a Lion

Since the lion is one of the most famous and most popular animals, many artist like to draw a lion to create an impressive picture. In zoos the lion ranks among the audience magnets. That the reason why I will describe how to draw a lion in this drawing tutorial.

Learn to draw a lion

When you intend to learn how to draw a lion, you can practice using templates. But the best thing is to draw from the living animal. The problem here is, of course, that you have to go to a zoo or Africa. So, you will usually be restricted to draw form a photo or other artists paintings and drawings.

Drawing of a lion
Drawing of a lion

Lions are feline predators and related to the cat. In order to draw or paint a lion, you can also orient yourself a little to cats. However, the proportions of a lion - especially the head - are somewhat different. But if you already have some experience in drawing cats, you will certainly have less problems with the representation of a lion.
But no matter if you already have experience with drawing similar animals or not, it is always important for an artist to study the anatomy of a lion in order to learn to draw it.

Look at the previous drawing of the lion head and also the following drawing that shows a lion in the side view. Now you can compare these pictures with drawings of cats to find the differences.

How to Draw a Lion
Draw a lion in side view

Compared to a cat, a lion has a much more massive skull. Especially the snout is bigger and longer. In proportion to this, however, his eyes are smaller.
The lion's body structure and skeleton are very similar to a cat, but also to a dog. This is especially important for the agility of the legs. If you want to draw a lion in a certain posture, this knowledge is important.

Draw the mane of a lion

Particularly characteristic is the male lion, which is immediately recognizable by its large mane. The male lion, which is also called the king of animals, is therefore much more popular in art than the female.
The drawing of the lions' mane, however, poses a certain challenge to many, since the representation of long fur and hair is not easy.

In the following drawing, you can see an example of a method to illustrate the mane. I didn’t draw a lot of details. The representation is already very graphical, but could be used as a preliminary drawing for a more elaborate drawing.

Draw the mane of a lion
Illustration of a lion head with mane

In the next drawing you see another method how to draw the fur or the mane. In this graphic the long hair was scribbled relatively quickly with a pencil. The visible pencil strokes create the effect of hair and strands. I have also drawn different shades of gray to show the shape of the mane through shadows.

drawing a lion with pencil
Fur and mane sketched quickly

So, this were a lot of information for the artistic representation of lions. I hope all these tips will help you to draw a lion, even if we have only scratched the surface. How to draw a lion cannot be explained easily. Ultimately, the most important thing is still independent practice. Just try it out.

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