How to Draw a Realistic Wolf

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STEP 1. So, I knew that I wanted to draw a wolf but I didn't want to draw it in just any ordinary pose. I decided that I since I haven't seen very many drawings of wolves stretching, I would go for that. This was my first practice sketch.   STEP 2. So, after getting a decent reference picture, I got my white board out and practiced before moving on to paper. I really encourage white boards and dry erase markers when you want to practice drawing but don't want to use up paper.   STEP 3. So, with the practice sketches out of the way we can move on to the actual drawing. I completed this drawing with a set of graphite pencils (ranging from H to 9B), a kneadable eraser, and a mechanical pencil (for final details). This drawing is on cold-press watercolor paper(I prefer the texture). The first step is to represent the wolf's body with simple shapes. You want to start at simple and move to complex later on.   STEP 4. Keep lightly adding on shapes. I developed the body more during this step.   STEP 5. Add in the basic shape of the head.   STEP 6. Add some guidelines to help denote where some of the features like the ears and eyes, will eventually go. Define the head a bit more.   STEP 7. Now you can sketch in the basic forms of the legs and tail.   STEP 8. Alright, time to start focusing on the head. Start by adding the ears.   STEP 9. Add in some guidelines for the eyes and nose. No need for detail yet.   STEP 10. Add in the eyes and nose. Don't worry about shading or accuracy yet. Just get representations of features down on paper. You can worry about perfecting everything later.   STEP 11. Now we can fan out to the rest of the body. Pay attention to how the fur is flowing. Don't just sketch in lines at random. A huge part of the realism aspect of this drawing is the fur. So, keep your lines light and remember that you will be layering the fur so this is only the first layer of many.   STEP 12. As your going around hinting at the fur, you can hint at other small features like the toes.   STEP 13. This step involves defining the wolf's outline. I recommend a pencil somewhere between HB and 4B for this.   STEP 14. Here is the end result of outlining. Notice how the wolf is already popping out more than it was before.   STEP 15. I chose to add a background to this drawing. It is really up to you to add a background and you can choose to add whatever you want. I just sketched in the basic idea of it during this step.   STEP 16. Time to start adding more detail to the head. Start out with a darker but still hard pencil, something between B and 4B. It often works better to go from darkest to lightest.   STEP 17. This step depicts the head after adding more detail to it. Don't freak out if you are finding yourself smudging your drawing with your hand. I feel as if that adds more to your drawing and somehow makes the blending more natural. So, don't worry about smudging until the final stages of the drawing.   STEP 18. We can now take the same darkest to lightest approach with the body. Remember to pay attention to the direction of the fur. Also, make sure that all of your pencils are sharp! Dull pencils won't do you any good from here on out.   STEP 19. This step just involves building layers of fur and adding more detail to the body. This step takes more than any other step but is crucial to the drawing. Don't get lazy with the fur and just scribble it in! Actually make the effort to make it look realistic, at least from afar.   STEP 20. And here we have our finished wolf. You can study the finished drawing and compare it to your own to see what details you missed or feel like adding. If you go all out on this drawing, it will most likely take you more than 4 hours, depending on how quick you are. Anyway, I hope this was an informative and fun tutorial for everyone!   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8. Step 9. Step 10. Step 11. Step 12. Step 13. Step 14. Step 15. Step 16. Step 17. Step 18. Step 19. Step 20.