How To Draw A Lion

how to draw a lion

This tutorial is on how to draw a lion: the king of the jungle!

This is a slightly more complicated drawing than in previous tutorials so I have broken the process down into more steps. With focus I am sure you will be able to create a fantastic drawing! Let’s get started.

Step 1

To begin we will will first put down guidelines for our drawing. The guidelines will not be part of our finished work. They will be erased and replaced later. For now they just serve as the framework for our final drawing.

The first part of our framework is just the six-sided shape below. It will be replaced by the lions face in later steps. It’s wide at the stop and gets more narrow near the bottom. Make the bottom edge smaller than the top one.

Then draw two intersecting lines. The first line goes directly down the center. The second is horizontal and is placed above the two points on the right and left. These lines will help us to place the lion’s eyes, nose, and mouth. These will come in handy in steps 6 and 7 of How to Draw A Lion.


Step 2

Next we will draw the framework for the lion’s mane. We will be drawing the lions mane in two layers. The first layer will be the hair on his head. The second layer will be the hair on his neck and shoulders. Draw an oval around his head. Leave more empty space above his head than below. Then draw another line beginning on the left, curving down and around, then attaching at the right.


Step 3

Draw the guidelines for the front legs. Just draw two lines to represent both sides of each leg.


Step 4

Then draw the guidelines for the back and underside of the lion.


Step 5

Draw the guidelines for his hind legs. Make his right hind leg two straight lines that connect with his underside. The lines for the hind leg that is closer to us will be a 40° to each other.


Everything that we have drawn up to this point has simply been the guidelines for our finished drawing. Now that we have done this we can erase guidelines and replace them with lines that will compose our final work. Let’s get to it!

Step 6

Erase the crosshair lines on the lion’s head. Draw the eyes and nose. The horizontal crosshair line was to help use put the eyes on an even plane.

Draw the nose in the lower half of his face using the guideline to place it correctly. The nose is shaped like a heart that is being stretched out.


Step 7

Erase the guidelines for the lions head. Replace it with randomly jutting lines. We will draw the lines like this to show our lion is furry. These lines should be hapharzard and are not in a uniform pattern. Draw these types of lines at the top of the head and down to his cheeks. Draw the cheeks with smooth lines.

Also draw the lion’s mouth thick and black. Make it wider on the right to emphasis a shadow.

Add the chin to his face and make that hairy as well.

Color in the lion’s eyes. Make the whole eye dark except for the iris. The irises can be drawn as half-moons.


Step 8

Add a few details to the lions face. Make his nose black and draw a few details to emphasis his snout, cheeks, brow, and forehead.


Step 9

Erase the guidelines for the mane and draw the ears.


Step 10

Then draw the outside of the mane. Leave space for the ears so they look as if they are poking out of his fur.


Step 11

Add details to the mane. These make the hair look messy. Add a a thick black hair starting at this forehead and expanding as it goes up to the top of the mane. It’s kind of like a mohawk. This pattern of hair appears on many young lions.

Then add four whiskers to both sides of his face just below the nose.


Step 12

Erase the guideline for the second layer of his mane. This is the mane around his neck and shoulders. Make the hair messy like with the mane around his head.


Step 13

You can now add his front legs and paws. These can be drawn with smooth lines. We will not be emphasizing his hair in this how to draw a lion lesson. Pay attention to the angles of the lines above his paws.


Step 14

Erase the guidelines for his back and underside.

The mane stretches down his chest and belly. Draw these with the same messy fur like before. Draw the back of the lion.


Step 15

Then draw the two hind legs. Pay attention to the angles of the lines as his ankles. Draw the tail as well.


Step 16

Add a details to his legs. These are to show the muscles and contours of his legs. Draw a shadow on his right hind leg.


Step 17

This is the final step of How To Draw A Lion. Color his fur. I made this drawing only using a graphite pencil. You may use colored pencils or markers to make his mane and the rest of him an color you like.

Add dark shadows to his inner ear and also add a shadow below him.


Congratulations on completing the How to Draw A Lion lesson! You have now completed your drawing of a lion!