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Have you ever wanted to know how to draw a cute little frog? In this tutorial, we will go over the basic elements of drawing a frog and add patterns, details, and color shading. There are many different types of frogs and this is a basic tutorial that can be adjusted in many ways. This will be a great tutorial for both beginners and more experienced artists, and you can use a pencil and paper or a drawing tablet.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Introduction to the World of Frogs
- 2 Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Frog
- 2.1 Step 1: Constructing the Body
- 2.2 Step 2: Constructing the Back Legs
- 2.3 Step 3: Constructing the Foreleg or Arm
- 2.4 Step 4: Constructing the Head
- 2.5 Step 5: Drawing the Webbed Feet and Hands
- 2.6 Step 6: Drawing the Eyes
- 2.7 Step 7: Drawing the Eyes, Nostril, and Mouth
- 2.8 Step 8: Fine Lining and Shaping Your Frog
- 2.9 Step 9: Giving Your Frog some Character
- 2.10 Step 10: First Tone Coloring
- 2.11 Step 11: Color Highlighting, Smearing, and Blending
- 2.12 Step 12: Step Back and Admire Your Handywork
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
An Introduction to the World of Frogs
While in this tutorial we are focussing on one frog, there are over 4,700 species around the globe. The collective noun for frogs is an army, and the majority of them can jump almost 20 times their own height. Each frog species has its very own croak, which male frogs use to attract their mates. The beautifully varied skin of different frogs is shed completely every single week!
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Frog
There are so many different types of frogs to choose from when it comes to creating your own drawing. We always suggest finding a reference photo of the frog you want to draw so that you can use this later in the tutorial when we begin to add details and coloring. So, find your reference photo, gather up your supplies, and let us get started with drawing frogs!
Step 1: Constructing the Body
The best way to begin drawing any animal when it is your first time is to use simple shapes. Begin by drawing an angled oval shape to represent the body and posture of the frog we will be drawing. The size of the oval will represent the final size of your frog’s body. Make sure that you center the oval on your piece of paper or canvas while leaving enough space on all sides for the other limbs. At this stage, your drawing may not look anything like a frog, but in just a few simple steps, you will be surprised at how quickly it takes shape!
Step 2: Constructing the Back Legs
Now that we have the body of our frog constructed, it is time to start planning out the limbs. We will begin with the back legs, because they can be the most tricky and it is always good to get the hardest things done first! The trickiness comes from ensuring that you reflect the correct proportions between your back legs, because the one is further back than the other. Start by drawing a small oval shape on the top of the large oval at the very back, like the one you can see in our example. Next, draw a much larger oval shape slightly ahead of and below the smaller oval. It is important that both of these leg ovals slightly overlap with the body oval.
The difference in size between the ovals is essential because it represents the depth of our three-dimensional drawing.
Step 3: Constructing the Foreleg or Arm
While we drew two back legs, we are only going to draw a single front leg or arm. The reason behind this is because of the angle of the frog’s body, the other arm is hidden behind the torso. Ovals are the basis for all the parts of this frog, so it will come as no surprise that you need to use an oval to represent the arm, So far, all of our ovals have been facing upwards in a similar direction, but this arm is going to be angled downwards, from roughly the center of the torso.
At this stage, your drawing should look something like this.
Step 4: Constructing the Head
The last big body part that we need to construct is the head. In this step draw an angled oval shape at the top, within the body of the frog. This will help to separate the head from the body and aid with proportioning elements of the head according to a realistic scale. The head should be slightly smaller than the large back leg and should sit snuggly into the top of the body oval.
At this stage, you should start to see the form of a frog peeking through your construction drawing.
Step 5: Drawing the Webbed Feet and Hands
At this stage, we start to add the details that will bring our frog to life, beginning with the feet and hands. Drawing webbed feet may seem intimidating, but we are starting with some construction lines to help you plan out the shape. Draw some slightly curved lines on both the bottom hind leg and foreleg. Draw three curved lines on the bottom hind leg and two lines on the arm.
You can see on our sketch that the front hands are slightly more curved than the back ones, but this is down to personal preference. You have complete artistic freedom to give your frog its own unique personality.
Step 6: Drawing the Eyes
Now, let us begin to bring our frog to life, starting with the eyes. Begin by drawing a fairly large circle just inside the construction drawing of the head. You want the eye to be slightly off-center within the head. Now, just in front of the eye circle, draw a little half-circle right on top of the head construction oval.
This placement of the second eye will enhance the three-dimensional effect because you would only see the top half of the eye poking out above the head.
Step 7: Drawing the Eyes, Nostril, and Mouth
Let us get down to the face. Begin by hard lining the construction lines of the eyes and draw a second somewhat sharper point oval within the eye and draw another small circle within this oval shape which will act as the pupil of the eye. On the concealed eye we simply hard line only a small part of it as the rest will be concealed.
For the nostril, draw a darkened spot with a slight curve. The nostril should look slightly like an inverted “L” shape. To define the characteristics of the mouth, draw a line across the head oval. You can add some subtle curves to this line to add some personality to your froggy friend.
Your drawing at this stage should look something like this sketch, but of course with your own artistic flair.
Step 8: Fine Lining and Shaping Your Frog
In this step, we use all the previous construction lines to help us finalize the shape of our frog. This stage is probably the most crucial, and the one where our frog goes from construction lines to its final form. Start by drawing two raised dimples that frame the eyes. To these dimples, add a slight curve and arc to enhance the three-dimensionality of the frog’s face.
Continue with the shaping of the face and drawing the bottom lip as a step inward. To make the face look slightly more alive and in motion, you can add some slight curves to the bottom lip.
Using the body construction oval add curves to the body. On the top, you want the body line to curve upwards gently just above the construction oval, and finish the line with a slight downward curve into the back leg oval. Take a line from this back and around the top back leg and join it with the bottom leg. One of the most important parts of the front bottom leg is the curve that makes the leg look bent in the natural sitting position of the frog. Draw around your curvy lines for the webbed feet, and add the shoulder for the upper arm.
This part of the drawing process is definitely the most complex and it may take you several attempts to get the lines perfect. Remember to take your time and enjoy experimenting. The more you try and get it not quite right, the better your eye will get at knowing where to draw the line.
Step 9: Giving Your Frog some Character
Now that we have the full form of our frog drawn out, it is time to add shading and the extra details that really make it come to life. You have a lot of freedom in this step because it is completely down to you what kind of character you give your frog.
In terms of general pointers, we suggest adding shading to certain areas to highlight the dimension and perspective in the drawing. These places include just above the backline on the top back leg, on the underside of the belly, on the neck just below the chin, and on the undersides of the leg curves where a natural shadow would fall. You can also add light shading around the eyes and around the different lines in the face to carve out the shape more clearly. You can also color in the iris of the eye and add a few small dots in the pupil.
Now draw several spots on the upper back leading to the lower back in the shape of shrunken ovals to give the look of them being seen from the perspective the Frog is sitting in.
This step will take time and you can really give your frog a great deal of interesting personality.
Step 10: First Tone Coloring
Whether you are using pencils, paints, or a graphic tablet, it is time to bring out the colors. At this stage, we want to use a very plain base color to fill the body and the eyes of your frog. The exact color you choose will depend on the type of frog you are drawing.
We strongly recommend choosing a base color that is not too dark. In the next step, we will be adding additional colors to shade and add depth, and this will not be as effective on a very dark background.
Frog eyes tend to be quite bright colors, so we have chosen a lovely red shade. You can use the colors from your reference photos or just let your imagination run wild.
Step 11: Color Highlighting, Smearing, and Blending
The coloring in our last step is a little one-note, so it is time to add some highlights, shadows, and excitement. Take a lighter shade of white or yellow and gently shade the belly of your frog from the lower lip. Remember that you also want to emphasize the shadow of this underbelly in some places too, so do not make it purely light.
A good tip for highlighting the outline of the body to differentiate it from the rest of the details is to add a light layer along the outlines. You can look at our example here to help you get this technique right.
For a mirror or gloss effect on the eyes, we do the same trick mentioned above by adding a highlight to the center of the eye. You want to make sure that this highlight blends into the red around it. You can use this highlighting technique on other parts of the body that will catch the light, like the webbed feet, the top of the back, and the tip of the nose.
Now that we have added highlights, we need to add some shadows too. The most important places for shadows are the bottom areas, including the bottom of the belly, below the eyes and the ridges of the nose, and the bottom of the curves of the back legs.
Step 12: Step Back and Admire Your Handywork
You have completed your frog drawing, well done! Whether this is the first time you have drawn a frog, or not, you have taken some simple ovals and created a fully formed and colored frog with a great deal of personality.
Now that you know the basic process for drawing a frog, you can start to change the posture, coloring, and features of the frog. Have fun and explore your creative inspiration!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Beginner Follow this Tutorial?
Absolutely! This tutorial is designed for artists of every level. We take you from drawing basic construction lines, all the way to coloring a fully characterized frog.
Is It Difficult to Draw a Frog?
Not at all. When it comes to drawing any animal there are elements that may seem intimidating, but as long as you know how to get the basic structure right, you can easily draw a frog. After completing this tutorial, you will have the skills to draw a frog in a range of different positions and colors.