Draw IY: Cartoon Lion

This could be a lion OR a leopard OR a tiger!! I’ll update this post once I draw it as a leopard and a tiger, but I’ve been excited to bring this to you. 

This is adapted from a book I’ve been reading about cartoons. I’ll share more of these with you, because doing these beats the techniques into my head like nothing else!



Not too hard, eh? If you want the lion to look fat and lazy, switch the circles.

Step 2:


Step 3:


Draw that line to his eye coming from the nose, so that you can place the eye right. Erase it after you’re done.

Step 4:lionstep4

Draw the leg guide lines very carefully. This makes him anatomically correct. Of course, he doesn’t have to be.  Make sure you get all of the little features on his face as well.

Step 5:


Draw his legs coming off of the circles, otherwise they won’t look right. See how the leg outlines follow the stick joints? They do not have to be that precise. For example, on the back leg, you could skip both the front and back knees and just make a bit of a slant.

Step 6:


So right about now you can erase the joints and circles. I kept them there to help illustrate. Draw his other legs as copies of his first ones, make them further up to give the lion depth. Cut away part of his rear end and draw the tail, I messed up a little, make the hair on the end of the tail bigger than that.

Step 7:


Finally, add a BIG mane extending off his forehead. Add markings to his belly and you may or may not want to add claws, like on his back paws, or just lines, like on the front paws. Finally, add whiskers as illustrated, putting ‘floating’ whiskers helps to not clutter the face.

Step 8:

lionfinal Add a thick outline to the animal. You do this especially with characters that you want to be cuddly, because it increases their pleasing nature.  If you would like to make this lion into a tiger or leopard, give it a shorter muzzle, no fur on the tail, a tuft of hair instead of a mane, and add the appropriate markings. I will update this post when I get those done so I can show you.



Creative markings on front, traditional on back.


Leopard with all kinds of SPOTS!!


2 thoughts on “Draw IY: Cartoon Lion

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s