For centuries the wolf has been a symbol of strength, loyalty and trust. Many admire the wolf for its almost unbreakable ties with its pack and smooth, harmonic howls. Capturing their look on paper isn’t always as easy as admiring them from afar. 

Depending on your art style, your wolf might have snarling jaws and piercing eyes for a more animalistic and hair-raising look. Or you might bring smaller details to life if you want to focus on their intelligence and beauty. For this look, try drawing eyes with a certain kindness behind them or show their smooth coat flowing in the wind. 

Either way, it’s time to sharpen your pencils, get out your favorite coloring tools and gather some paper so that you can finally bring your wolf out of your imagination and onto paper. 

Learning How to Draw a Wolf

Two images of a wolf sit side by side. To the left is a photograph of a right-facing copper-colored wolf with brown eyes. To the right is a black and white line drawing of the same wolf.
Copper in color, this wolf is waiting to be transformed with your pen. Still from Skillshare Class Learn To Draw Wolves: An Easy Approach by Ken School of Design

Welcome to the world of wolf drawings where you’ll be able to unleash your inner cartoon, fantasy or charcoal artist and turn a blank piece of paper into a majestic animal. As you dive deeper into the wolf’s anatomy, including the curve of its snout and the strength of its legs, you’ll learn how to use depth, texture and detail to capture its look all while adding a touch of your personal art style.

Why Learn to Do an Easy Wolf Drawing

No matter your level of drawing experience, being able to draw an easy wolf is a helpful addition to any artist’s toolbox. If your artistic journey has just begun, learning to create a wolf can be an achievable challenge that will improve your drawing skills further and leave you with a piece of artwork you can add to your portfolio or your bedroom wall.

If you’ve been drawing for at least a few years, looking into how other artists draw wolves can help you further refine your personal style. By following guidance from an artist who creates in a different way than you do, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact stylistic choices you enjoy making and those that you could do without. 

Getting Creative with Cute Wolf Drawings 

Part of developing your personal style as an artist is exploring different art styles and seeing which fits you best. Maybe one day you’d like to sell adorable stickers that other kids your age can put on their water bottles, laptop covers and around their room. For that project, you might want to make a cute wolf drawing that would be enticing to customers who like kawaii culture and speaking to their inner child. 

One of the easiest ways to draw a cute wolf is to experiment with size. Nurturers by nature, humans love miniature objects and find them adorable. Drawing a small, baby wolf with bigger features like a short fluffy tail and ears and eyes that are disproportionately big compared to its face and body will make it cuter. You can also mimic baby wolf attributes like a small nose, a uniform colored coat, and a shorter snout. 

Putting a few sparkles in their eyes, a big smile and some sweet accessories like a flower crown, a little bone or a butterfly on its nose can also add to its cuteness. 

Inspiration for Cool Wolf Drawings

Two images of a wolf sit side by side. To the left is a photograph of a snarling gray- and brown-colored wolf with light green eyes. To the right is a black-and-white line drawing of the same wolf.
Different emotions and angles of the same wolf can provide endless inspiration. Still from Skillshare Class Learn To Draw Wolves: An Easy Approach by Ken School of Design

Everybody has a different interpretation of the word cool. If you’re a big fan of reading fantasy novels, for you a cool wolf drawing might have icy blue eyes and a spiky white coat, howling in front of a glowing full moon. 

For future tattoo artists, you might find a simple line drawing made with geometric shapes and swirls to be the coolest wolf drawing for you. Try exploring wolf tattoos and seeing how other artists get creative with the shape of the wolf to make something artistic and emotional. 

Add Some Personality! 

Gouache Illustration: Paint a Whimsical, Colorful Character

The Secret to a Realistic Wolf Drawing

When drawing with hyperrealism, it’s not always easy to find the line between art and nature. Some artists find a way to draw their subjects so vividly that it looks like a photograph. Other artists like wildlife artists use each stroke of their colored pencil or dab of watercolor to create very detailed drawings of animals

The key to learning how to draw a realistic animal portrait is working from a reference photo or video. Knowing how your wolf walks, how its fur blows in the wind, and how its mouth opens when it tilts its head up to the sky to howl will help you better understand your wolf.

First, break your wolf down into parts. Carefully copy the curve of its ears, the angle of its snout, its sinewy legs, its muscular back and all the way to its tail. Next, you’ll want to add in main details like the coloring around its eyes, teeth and nails. The believability of your wolf will depend on how you represent some of the smallest details. By focusing on where the fur falls on your wolf, the wrinkles on its face and its coloring, you’ll get closer and closer to a realistic wolf drawing.  

Trying Your Hand at a Cartoon Wolf Drawing

Quite the opposite of the realistic wolf drawing, a cartoon wolf drawing will usually have fewer details and will include more of your personal style as an artist. A perfect example of this is to look through different versions of The Three Little Pigs. There have been countless cartoon versions of the wolf, and by just looking up a few you’ll be able to see how the characteristics of each wolf changes depending on the artist.

Some artists make the wolf seem terrifying and sneaky with a long snout, a thin, muscular body and tons of pointy fur. Others make the wolf seem hungry with ripped pants and his ribcage bones poking up underneath his skin. Take a moment to think about the personality and backstory of your wolf and how that would influence your cartoon version of them. 

Using a Pencil to Bring Your Wolf To Life

One of the most commonly used art mediums for all drawing subjects is the pencil. Artists love the pencil for its ability to shade, build depth and texture and focus on the details of a subject rather than its coloring. When making a wolf drawing in pencil, you can create a hyper-realistic version of the animal by using your pencil to copy every strand of hair and the shadows around its face.

Drawing a Howling Wolf

Two images of a wolf sit side by side. To the left is a photograph of a howling gray- and brown-colored wolf with its eyes closed. To the right is a black, white and gray line drawing of the same wolf.
How can you transform this howling wolf with your artistic style? Still from Skillshare Class Learn To Draw Wolves: An Easy Approach by Ken School of Design.

As an emblematic image of a wolf, drawing a howling wolf is definitely something you should try adding to your art repertoire. To draw a wolf howling, start by sketching a basic outline of the wolf's body with a slightly arched back and an open mouth facing upwards. Then, add details such as fur, ears, and a tail, and try emphasizing the wolf's posture to convey the howling motion by focusing on its triangular face shape. Finally, add shading and texture to give the drawing depth and dimension.  

Mastering the Wolf Head

Drawing a wolf's head requires a basic understanding of the animal's body shape and knowing how to draw animals from their anatomy. Your starting shape will depend on the angle your wolf’s head is facing. For a side-facing wolf, start with a circle shape and for a front-facing wolf, start with a triangular shape. Next, learn how to draw a nose and then you’ll be ready to focus on details such as the snout and ears. Pay close attention to the placement of these features, as they help convey the wolf's character and expression.

When learning how to draw fur, keep in mind that the wolf's coat is made up of short, coarse hair that can be quite dense. Adding texture and shading can help to create a sense of fullness and realism. 

Creating a Realistic Wolf Face

Similar to drawing a dog, drawing a wolf face is a chance to play with its personality and expression. Play with the turn of their mouth to add a bit of emotion to their face. An upturned mouth can make an adorable cartoon wolf look happy and a curled lip can make a realistic wolf look defensive of his territory.   

Drawing Expressive Wolf Eyes

The eyes, in particular, are an important feature to capture when drawing a wolf because a turned down brow or a sparkle in their eye can change its entire look. 

When drawing a wolf eye, the eyes should be large and almond-shaped with shading around the socket. Just like their coat color, eye color can change from wolf to wolf. Golden yellow, fiery orange, misty gray, honeyed hazel, light brown and emerald green are all options you can choose between for your wolf’s eyes.

Let Your Creativity Run Wild with Your Wolf Drawing

It’s finally time to get drawing your wolf. Depending on your personal style, it might take you a few tries to get your wolf right. Keep at it, and with time and dedication, you'll be able to capture the essence of the wolf's head in your own unique style. Take the next week to try your hand at different styles and over the course of seven days you might be surprised about how your wolf drawing skills have evolved!

Prefer a Minimal, Modern Look? 

Illustration for Designers: Create Your Own Geometric Animal

Written By

Calli Zarpas

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