How to draw TIGERS – Mink’s Tutorials

How to draw TIGERS – Mink’s Tutorials


Hey there, and welcome to my tutorial about how to draw tigers! If you know me just a little, you most likely know that I love cats. So I am very excited for this one! I have three fairly different drawings of
tigers prepared, and I will show you all the basics you need
to draw them! Alright, so let’s start! Thank you~ First of all we are going to draw the very basic skeletal structure, starting
with the head. You could start with a different part of course. Here I just choose to start with the head. And I’m drawing this long oval shape that is tilted about 45°. But the tiger is going to look straight forward. This is just the way the skull is orientated when they look forward. We draw the center lines to help us get the shape and orientation of
the head right. Over here we also half it. And if we would look at the shape directly
from the front, then we would see that it basically is just
like a circle. Then you go ahead and start a line, directly from this intersection, that has a very small angle right here and curves around. And that will be for the eyes. Slightly above this intersection we draw a big triangle shape that is slightly stretched out, like so. A small line downwards, and then you have this upside down Y shape. Draw the shape of the cheeks. Very round. Very round shapes that are connected with
the nose. Then the chin down here. And we draw slightly over the oval shape of
the head. We mostly stay inside, but sometimes you subtract a little bit, or you add some. For example, right about here. The nose bridge is fairly simple. We have a small curve and then simply go straight up, until you connect with the eye line right
here. Same on the other side. And those will be the positions of the eyes. I will add details later. Something optional would be to draw this kind of curve from the inner eye corner down the cheeks. It is not mandatory, but can help you to get the shape of the face right. As for the ears, we draw these curves that are almost parallel to the center line
here. Just slightly diverge. And all the way back here we will have the inner corners of the ears. At first you draw an almost straight line and then curve around. They are very round looking, not pointy. And we go all the way around, leave a small gap between the oval shape of the head and the ears. And they can also have a slight corner, right
here. And the other ear is pointing away from us, therefore it will have a more triangular shape to it, since we see the backside of the ear. We still need to slightly adjust the shape
of the head. Because first of all, they have a lot of muscles right here behind the jaw. Also the hair at the side of the face is very
long. And so I draw this extra line here, which is almost horizontal, and curve upwards, like so. Right until we connect them with the middle of the ears. Let’s draw the rest of the body, which will be just a relaxed standing position from the side, so you can see the whole body. In that kind of state it is normal for the
tiger to have its head at the same height as the
back. So, let’s draw the neck, which starts at the back bottom of the head. And its length is shorter than the length
of the head. That will be our general unit of length comparison. So we have a little bit extra here, since we look at the head from the side after
all. And this will help us get the proportions
right. So about here would be the shoulders, and we draw the spine. Can be slightly curved. And we measure about 2.5 lengths of the head. Of course it doesn’t have to be super exact. So, right here is close enough. Let’s continue with the front legs. The shoulder blades can move independently
from each other, and therefore I have 2 lines that simplify these shoulder blades. They are shorter than the head length. And then we draw the upper legs. These ones are slightly longer, but still shorter than the head. And when they are standing straight up, so the foot would be directly under the shoulder, the shoulder blade would be angled forwards, and the upper legs backwards, right down below this joint. And this way the chest looks like it’s sticking
out. Let’s continue with the lower leg, which is about the same length as the upper
leg bone. This will be the ankle, and therefore we have this middle part of
the foot. And then the actual paw, which I simplify with a simple line. The other leg too of course, which I’m going to add in very quickly, right
here. And we also want to keep the perspective in
mind. So this will be our eye level, and therefore there will be a small gap right
here at the bottom. What you can also do is, add a rib cage from the knees all the way
up towards the spine. And it doesn’t have to be a very nice looking
shape. It is just an aid to get the general shape
of the body right. Now let’s move on to the back legs. At first we draw the hip, which can be simplified with a simple curve,
right here. The hip bone is one singular bone, and therefore the both sides cannot move independently from each other. If you look at the skeleton from above, you can see that the hip and the shoulders aren’t that large in width. So this here will be our relevant joint, and since we now know where the ground level
is, we can basically construct the back legs from
the feet. So let me draw this line here from the hips, and I’m gonna say that the leg that is closer
to us will be in front of this line, and the other one further at the back. In order to draw this middle part of the foot all we need to know is the position in relation
to the hip. The further it is at the front, the smaller this angle becomes. And so on this side here it will be much more
vertical. Also if you compare it to the front, these bones are slightly longer, and we let it reach over the joints just a
little bit. And then it will become a simple matter of
connecting the dots. The only thing you need to remember is that the length of the upper and lower
legs are the same as the head length. And so we just kind of guess the correct positions. And there we go. From a stand position like this the back legs are mostly stretched out. Not all the way, but mostly. And last but not least, the tail. It is just a continuous curve from the spine. In a relaxed state, it just hangs down, and often curves around right here at the
tip. And its total length is about 2-2.5 times
the head length. I have the in-between steps also prepared
beforehand, just to make sure that I have good looking and accurate results. Now let’s get to the second stage of the sketch. Where you start at is completely up to you. I like to start with the nose. And here we have these two curves, going down
like so. A small distance, until we have this corner,
curving around, and when it gets very close to the edge of
the triangle, we add this S curve all the way to this corner
here, and there we go! Then you make everything dark, and these shades here stretch all the way up here, because there is still a small gap. The same on the other side, but significantly narrower, like so. And of course don’t forget to add this middle
line. The upper edge starts right in between the nostril and this corner. And there is not much of a distance between the nostrils and that edge. ??? It’s just this kind of slight wave. Like so. Let’s continue with the mouth. Again, just the upside-down Y shape. You can fill in a little bit of dark area, to have a slight indication of the lips. And then mostly just follow the shapes that we already sketched out. But we stop right here, and this will be the
mouth corner. And you can have slight indications of the shape of the cheeks. The chin will have a slight curve inwards,
right here. And then the chin hair itself looks a bit
scruffier. Has a few longer hairs. Let’s draw the nose bridge, all the way to
the back. And this side here mostly stays open. (oh Hanami…) To draw the eyes, what you can do is start with the upper lid. The curvature depends on how widely open the
eyes are, and also the general shape, which is slightly different from tiger to
tiger of course. So here I’m drawing it very relaxed, and therefore it’s fairly flat. Then add a cut off circle for the eyes themselves, with a round pupil. It is not slit shaped, unlike the small cats’. The lower lid is just like a dark outline, and curves inwards like so. And we have this dark part, that stretches over this line here. All the way, like so. And also a bit more detail on the other side, and there we go, we have the eye. The same thing on the other side, but it will be cut off by the nose bridge
of course. Like so. Don’t forget the pupil. Let’s sketch out the shape of the head for
the most part. Just following mostly what we already sketched
out. The ears also don’t really change that much. At this stage you can make some corrections, add a little bit more detail, but overall there isn’t much to do here. However there will be of course the long hair inside the ears. And right where it gets deep we want to have some darker parts right here. The top of the head is mostly flat. There can be some dents. It is up to you how you want to design it. And starting from the ears, here at the side of the face, you will have
the long hair, which will droop down the further it is at
the bottom. Of course don’t forget the whiskers. We have these rows of dots right underneath
the nostrils from where the whiskers grow out of. There are normally 3 of them, but here and there can be some extra dots
too. And then the whiskers themselves. Since this tiger is very relaxed they are just mostly hanging down. In other emotional states that can be different. And make it a bit chaotic. A few of them will curve upwards, or can be a bit messed up, since they are wild animals and therefore not everything is neat and tidy about them of course. And above the eyes you also have a few of these kind of long hair. Normally you don’t really see them. At least not that much. But they give the face a bit extra detail. Let’s move on to the body once more. And with which part you start with, once again, is up to you. I like to start with the feet at first. And for those you draw these kind of flat
oval shapes, like so. There isn’t really much additional detail
to them. At least from a standing position like this. You just have these indications of the toes. Then I work myself upwards from joint to joint. And the individual parts will get wider and
wider. And overall, make sure that you draw the tiger
very muscular. They are the largest cats and basically the strongest cats in the world. So draw them fairly broad. And also all the way up here to the shoulders. And the shoulders can stick out quite significantly in comparison to the back. It depends on how the weight is distributed
on the front legs. So if a lot of weight is on just one leg, then the shoulder blade will stick quite significantly. And I will sketch in the other leg too. Fairly quickly. Now, there is one thing that we still need
to consider, which are first of all the carpal pad, right at the back of the feet, underneath
the ankle. And also the dew claw, right here, on the inner side of the foot. But only for the front legs. Only the front legs have the carpal pads and
the dew claws. And then the rest is basically the same. Because this leg is mostly hidden behind the
torso I don’t need to draw the rest. Continuing with the back legs. It just works the same way. You have these flat oval shapes. Slight indications for the toes. And then here, we have this kind of narrow
looking shape. And as for the lower leg, what we do is we at first curve around the knee, like so. And you can imagine that you have more of a circular shape sitting
right here. And we draw an S curve around it, down towards the ankle, right here. And this will give you this corner. And the rest, once again, is fairly simple. You just wrap around the joints, and there
we go. I skipped ahead and drew the other one too. It works the same way, so I don’t need to
explain much. One thing that you still have to consider
however is that this part here should be smooth. There shouldn’t be a corner like this. Let’s construct the neck. At first here from the top of the head to
the shoulders. And then from the chest to* behind the jaw. The shoulders are sticking out quite significantly as this mountain of muscles. And it slowly curves downwards until we reconnect with the curvature of the
spine once again. We have a small hill maybe, here on the hip
side, which then very slightly curves down. We have this downwards slope. We do not draw it perfectly horizontal. And then it’ll transition over… (Hey Hokko) … to the tail. And the base of the tail, the root of the
tail, is fairly wide. (Yes Hokko) Just follow the curvature of the tail. The tail is not very fluffly, therefore is also not very wide. So it narrows down, like so. And then at the tip we just have a round curve,
like so. Only thing remaining is the chest and the
belly. Here we start from the knees, mostly follow the shape of the rib cage, and you can also have a line continuing from
the knee upwards, and have maybe a slight corner. And then the belly itself, of course, will depend on how well fed the tiger is. So it could be curved up like so, and that doesn’t look very healthy of course. Or it could be a bit too much. But in a normal state you will have a slightly sagging stomach,
like so. And just one little extra detail is a line from the knee that curves in front
of the stomach. And once again the prepared version, just to make sure that I get the proportions
right. The last thing missing in our sketch is obviously the stripes! Those give the tigers their signature look
after all. Every single tiger has a unique set of stripes. Just like our fingerprints. Therefore you have a lot of freedom drawing these stripes… to some extent. There are certain rules. The curvature, thickness, density and shape depends on the body part they are on top of. And of course I will do my best to explain the important basics to you. A few tips for drawing the stripes: At first draw them a bit jittery, following the direction of the fur. And make it kind of random, instead of just drawing one smooth line. Instead of making it one continuous stripe, bring in some gaps in-between here and there. And also vary the thickness. Again, where you start doesn’t really matter. I’m gonna start right here behind the cheeks, and follow this curvature that we had before. At the mouth corner you have a big, dark spot. Kind of like a half circle that curves down
the jaw. And that is actually very common for big cats. Now from here I want to curve upwards towards the outer eye corner. And so I’m just gonna connect it right here, and do it in a very random way. And often it is directly connected with the corner of the eye. Dropping here and there some smaller stripes
and spots too. Right here at the corner of the nose you often have some small little spots too. Underneath the eyes we have another round
stripe, that leaves a small gap in-between, which will be white. And you can add a few extra lines here and
there too. And you need to draw the same pattern on the
other side too. So don’t forget about that. It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, because it isn’t perfect in nature either. But it still should be more or less the same
pattern. And from this eye corner we curve upwards, which also continues right above the eyes,
like so. Not all of them are gonna perfectly follow the curvature of course though. So make it a bit random. In-between the eyes the density of stripes
isn’t very high, or sometimes there are none at all. Just drop in a few spots and lines here and
there, and as for the forehead, we just simply need to remember two rules: First of all, the lines are mostly horizontal, and stretch over the whole forehead. And additionally they converge towards the middle of the forehead, along
this line here. So what you do is, we drop in here and there some smaller lines, that are symmetric. Then some of them stretch over the whole forehead, and then you have these arrow shapes, that follow the forehead all the way to the
back. And you can combine these shapes, you can be very creative and very random. It is completely up to you. Just gonna fill in everything very quickly,
like so. And there we go! On the ears you also have some spots that are fairly large. Almost looks like there are white spots on
black ears. And here at the side of the face you have very broad, thick lines, that stretch all the way down to the jaw,
like so. And that is mostly it. There isn’t much else. Maybe here in there a few spots. But the area on the nose, on the cheeks, which are just basically those dots for the
whiskers, and the chin, and also here right between the eyes and the
mouth, are normally without any stripes whatsoever. The stripes on the body are actually far less
complicated. As a general rule you can remember that the stripes always wrap around the body
parts. So for example, here at the middle of the
body, you start from the spine, and curve slightly, we don’t go straight down. And wrap around the whole torso. You don’t have to draw the whole line continuously, but once again we have some abrupt interruptions
in there, and you can just drop in a few lines here and there right in the middle. Also the stripes are very thick and can have these splits. Around the belly it can get quite blotchy, with a lot of very thick spots and lines. (What are you doing…?) And the same goes for the legs too. As you can see here, they wrap around the
legs, and therefore at spots are horizontal. However the area between the legs and the
torso, requires a little bit more thinking. You can imagine some sort of delta right here. And we will have stripes follow 3 different
directions. So up here we will have the stripes from the
shoulders, curving down from the spine, as normal. But then, once they get close to this delta, we have to split up. Those that are further at the front will curve towards the chest. Those that further at the back will curve towards the knee. And the lines in-between are just gonna mingle
together and you can find your own kind of individual, unique solution, in order to fill out this
area. The same goes for the back leg too. You have also this kind of delta. So some lines will grow towards the knee, some will grow towards the back of the leg, and you have the horizontal ones, that are just wrapping around the leg. And so once again you fill out the in-between area as you see
fit. It is completely up to you how you do it. The front legs don’t really have that many
stripes, and are fairly thin. Especially at the inner side. You just have here and there some lines showing up from the sides, and a few thin ones here and there in the
middle. The feet and the lower part of the legs basically remain completely empty with stripes. The back legs are higher in density in terms
of stripes. But once again, as they are getting close to the lower part of the leg, they are just simply diminishing, to the point where there are none at all. The density of stripes, that are approaching the “behind” of the tiger, are also very very high, and there are a lot
of thick stripes. And once they are approaching the tail, they are transitioning to wrapping around
that said tail. The tip of the tail is just simply all black. As if it has been dipped into a bottle of
ink. And the stripes directly behind the tip are
very thick and quite close to each other, but as the distance increases from the tip, so do also the stripes be further* apart. And the lines will become thinner and thinner. And vary the shape of the lines too. Sometimes they are just these short ones. We have some splits here and there, and also the thickness varies. And there we go. In my prepared version here I have the whole
body covered, and I took a bit of extra time to make sure that it looks nice. The stripes are also very useful in order to illustrate the shape of the body
of this tiger. So when you paint them, also keep in mind how the tiger is shaped. And of course I also show you the finished
version. As always, the style you draw your tiger in
is up to you, so I’m not going to go too much into detail. Some important things that I need to address are the fur length and color. The fur on their body isn’t all that long, except for maybe a Siberian tiger. The longest fur is at the sides of their face, which progressively gets shorter towards the
neck. And the belly is a bit scruffier too. The colors are basically just black, white
and orange. There aren’t even that made shades of orange. The white parts are basically on the following
areas: Around the eyes, with fairly sharp edges. The cheeks under the nose, the chin and the sides of the face. By the way, there are a few darker spots directly in the front, directly under the
mouth. The underside of the neck and the belly are
white too. The inner sides of the legs, as well as the underside of the feet and the
toes. And the tail is mostly white and black. Some orange from the back stretches a distance along the upper side of the tail though. Additionally what you should do for animals that have short fur like these tigers, is to indicate the shape of the muscles and some joints underneath the skin. For example the ankles of the back legs, or the strong shoulders. With the help of shading and highlighting you can make these parts stick out. So, those are the basics, which you can use to draw tigers in basically any pose that you want. I have a second example for you, in a more interesting pose than this one here. And it is a tiger cub playing around, so extra
cute~ I will show you a timelapse of its drawing
process, while in the meantime I’m going to tell you a couple of interesting facts about
tigers. Tigers are the largest cat species and the third largest land carnivores in the
world. Only polar and brown bears are larger. Unlike most cats, tigers are good swimmers and don’t shy away from getting wet. They have webbed toes, which allow them to push back larger volumes
of water. Their natural habitats reach from the ice cold Siberian forests, to the hot jungles of India and Sumatra. About 100 years ago, the tiger population worldwide was over 100,000. However, because of deforestation, trophy hunting and people using body parts
of tigers as traditional “medicine”, which in reality just works as placebos anyways, tigers’ numbers have shrunk down dramatically. Now, in the year 2019, there are less than 4000 tigers in the wild. Every single tiger sub-species is on the brink
of extinction. A multiple of that number lives in captivity
worldwide. However the vast majority of them serve no conservation purpose at all. It is estimated that just in the U.S. there are 5,000 to 10,000 tigers in captivity. The estimate is so broad, because a lot of them are unreported. Several states have barely to no regulations
at all for keeping tigers. Sometimes it’s even harder to get a cat from an animal shelter than to have a tiger as a pet, although they are clearly not domestic animals. Many of these tigers are in roadside entertainment. They are used for shows, mini safaris and
photo ops. Especially popular are the tiger cubs. Tourists love bottle feeding and cuddling
with them. And I admit, I would love that too. It would feel immensely special to me to be that close to a real tiger. However, the conditions under which they are
often held, changes how I feel about it. As babies, they are often taken away from their mothers far too early. Once they reach adulthood, many tigers lose their value, and are just put up for display, used for
further breeding, or somehow “disappear”. Their body parts are also still quite valuable. Additionally, thousands of tigers in east and south-east Asia are in farms, held under horrible conditions. The situation for these majestic creatures
is… …really saddening. Alright, let’s pause this depressing topic and get back to the drawing. The basic anatomy for a tiger cub is not all that different to an adult tiger. The main difference is the size ratio between
the head, legs and torso. The legs are a bit shorter, especially for
really young ones. The head is larger is comparison to the rest
of the body. The eyes are also proportionally large, once they are able to fully open them, that
is. Their ears also appear larger, while the cheeks are slightly smaller. Also, from this angle you are able to see the underside of the front
paw. The paw pads are quite large, and usually have a somewhat dark color. A simple way to draw the feet is to use ovals
within ovals. At first to sketch out the orientation of
the toe, and then for the paw pad. The biggest one in the middle has a more complicated shape, but you can maybe imagine an extremely fat
“M” shape that is stretch out at the sides. If that makes sense. And then you have the claws, which simply stick out from the middle of
the toes, are curved and very pointy. If you want to draw the mouth open, draw at first some kind of “S” shape down towards the mouth corner. Make a sharp turn and go towards the front
again. Be careful not to draw the jaw too long or
too short. Their canines are huge, sitting on their own kind of mounds. These plus the incisors at the front are the first teeth to show up when they open their
mouths. So, I am not completely done. As promised, I have another drawing, and this one is more special than just a simple
pose… … because not only does it show a beautiful and slightly derpy looking tiger, but also my two cats as little kittens. Obviously, in reality that would be way too
dangerous. But you are able to draw whatever alternate
reality you can imagine. That’s the special thing about art for me! As a side-note: I also made a tutorial series about house
cats, with a video solely about kittens. I am glad to finally have brought you a drawing tutorial about tigers. They are among my absolute favorites after
all. This tutorial by the way is part of a series
about big cats. The next ones are going to be lions, snow leopards and cheetahs. I’m definitely very excited for those too! And I am sorry for potentially souring your
mood by bringing up that serious topic during the
timelapse. But can we agree, that this is a problem that needs far more
attention? Also, do me a favor… When you draw your own tigers, please don’t portray them as monstrous man-killers. As artist, you have a way to move people’s
hearts. You can bring more awareness to certain issues, and inspire them to protect what is good and pure in this world. So bring out the beauty of these fascinating
wild cats. As always, if you have any questions or constructive feedback, then please leave a comment down below. And for more information and links please check out the description of this video. There is quite a lot in there. Alright then, have fun drawing!

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