This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.
Wolves are magnificent creatures that symbolize loyalty, spirit, trust, and guardianship. The ability of the wolf to make strong emotional bonds and its sense of intuition are qualities that we as humans can learn too – how to trust both our hearts and instincts in order to lead a fulfilling life. If you would like to learn how to draw this beautiful and fearless creature, look no further than this simple tutorial on how to draw a wolf, step by step, with concept artist IzzyBll. Follow along as we show you how to achieve the correct proportions, perspectives, and finishing touches for creating a realistic drawing of a wolf face. This tutorial can be completed either by drawing by hand on paper or with a graphics tablet.
Table of Contents
- 1 Necessary Wolf Drawing Materials
- 2 How to Draw a Wolf Head Step by Step
- 2.1 Step 1: Sketching the Head Shape
- 2.2 Step 2: Add the First Construction Lines
- 2.3 Step 3: Additional Construction Lines
- 2.4 Step 4: Listen Up
- 2.5 Step 5: Outlining the Snout / Nose
- 2.6 Step 6: Shaping the Facial Characteristics
- 2.7 Step 7: Facial Features
- 2.8 Step 8: Outer Fur
- 2.9 Step 9: Inner Fur
- 2.10 Step 10: Shading and Details
- 2.11 Things to Consider When Drawing a Wolf Face
- 3 Some Motivation and Tips to Make Wolf Drawing Easy
Necessary Wolf Drawing Materials
While drawing is by no means the only way of creating a piece of art of a wolf, it is certainly one of the easiest. Using pencil and paper is a great drawing method for beginners and those looking to explore their artistic abilities, whereas the use of a graphics tablet may appeal more to those with more experience.
Those going with the traditional method of drawing on paper cannot go wrong by using this sketchbook by Bellofy. This sketchbook will provide you with plenty of empty pages just waiting to be filled with your wolf sketch as well as many other pieces of art.
For sketching and drawing, you will need two to three different pencil shades of your choice. We recommend using a light construction or drafting pencil to begin with, such as this set by Nicpro. This is ideal for your preliminary sketch lines and markings, as the lead will be easy to erase later. To add shading, finer lines, details, and shadows, we suggest using this Dowswin 30-piece pencil and charcoal sketching set.
For those using a digital platform such as a graphics tablet, you will find that instead of a set of pencils, you will be working with a stylus, mouse, or drawing pen. Aim to use a standard set of brushes and ensure a balanced DPI on your mouse if you are not going to by using a stylus or graphics pen.
All you really need is to remember to have fun, enjoy the tutorial, and take your time – we find that the biggest advantage to an artist working on any artwork is patience, as this is how you can achieve perfection!
How to Draw a Wolf Head Step by Step
As with most animals, wolves are known for possessing an incredible amount of fur, which is something that can intimidate many artists. There is no need to worry, however, as this tutorial will show you exactly how to draw a wolf step by step. This means that we will be breaking down the wolf’s individual facial features and various elements into different steps, thus making your wolf drawing easy to accomplish.
Step 1: Sketching the Head Shape
For our very first step, we will need to decide where on the canvas or paper we want our subject (the wolf head) to be. In this tutorial, we have decided that the best position for our subject is in the center of the page, creating a focal point.
With a lightly shaded pencil (or brush on a graphic tablet), draw an oval shape. This will represent our subject’s head shape in and around which we will be working. You can also draw several blocks across the surface of your paper or canvas so as to help you identify your center points, thus aiding with the perspective of your wolf drawing.
For this step, be sure to leave enough space all around the oval shape for subsquent steps, where we will be adding more details and fur.
Step 2: Add the First Construction Lines
Draw a centerline down the very middle of the oval shape, and another across – about one third down from the top. This will help you identify where you are going to have the wolf’s eyes and eyebrows, as well as a basic idea of where the ears and snout/nose will be centered. With this information, you will also able to find out where the mouth will be on your wolf sketch.
Step 3: Additional Construction Lines
Following the previous step, add a secondary horizontal line above the oval shape. This will help to pinpoint the level at which we will be drawing the wolf’s ears, while also aiding in symmetry and helping the ears to reach the same point in height. Draw another horizontal line, except now half the length of the top one, positioned about one-third upwards from the bottom. This will help us align the nose and mouth.
Step 4: Listen Up
Time to add the ears! Add a pair of somewhat triangular shapes to the top of the oval, each with the tips reaching the very top horizontal line. We will be turning these simple triangles into more realistic-looking ears shortly.
Breaking down the oval shape into sections will make drawing a wolf face much easier.
Step 5: Outlining the Snout / Nose
Draw an oval shape as close to the center as possible, using the middle center line to aid the symmetry. Then, add two streak lines to assist in portraying the shape of the wolf’s snout/nose. Much like a dog, the nose is a much wider feature on the face.
Step 6: Shaping the Facial Characteristics
Drawing on top of the lighter construction lines, shape the ears to look more curved without necessarily touching the oval shape. This is because we will be adding fur to enhance the look, so you do not need to worry if the ears are slightly offside. Now you can draw the mouth details, making them wider than the snout with a small hint of the wolf’s bottom lip as an added detail – this will help to achieve more emphasis on this key facial feature.
Step 7: Facial Features
To begin detailing the facial features of your wolf sketch, you can begin by drawing the eyes, slightly sloping inwards, towards the center of the snout/nose. On the nose, draw two basic squiggles for the nostrils and then use a darker pencil shade to follow the construction line of the snout/nose.
Step 8: Outer Fur
As we begin to add more detailed characteristics, it is best to start by adding fur to the outer layers of our wolf drawing. Follow the oval construction lines that make up the shape of your wolf’s face and begin drawing in the fur, one side of the oval at a time. Remember, a wolf’s fur is always spreading outwards, and this includes most of the wolf’s inner fur as well. The only time the fur will not flow outwards is at its “connecting points”, such as at the bottom of the neck, where the fur joins together and flows as one, similar to a flame.
This type of fur is often referred to as a winter coat due to the puffy-looking style, which is exactly what we want for our Wolf. To achieve this, simply draw the furry outline slightly wider than the actual oval shape you drew with the construction pencil.
Step 9: Inner Fur
Using the construction lines of the ears, draw small, detailed streaks of the wolf’s inner fur. Remember to point the inner fur outwards in a similar manner to that of the outer fur; the main difference is that the inner fur will require smaller streaks, indicating shorter and thinner bits of hair.
Using the center face line, create two inner fur lines on either side, which will somewhat resemble eyebrows, around the eyes. Carry this line further and curve it along the construction lines of the oval face. If you are drawing a wolf face from the front, we recommend adding in smaller inner fur patches all along the face in order to create more of a three-dimensional look.
Step 10: Shading and Details
In this step, we will add a darker touch to the outer fur, especially on the top of the head and the ears. We will also be adding a darker shade to the eyes, the snout/nose, and the curve of the mouth, as these are the key facial elements of a wolf. As these are the characteristics that make a wolf recognizable, it makes sense for us to emphasize these details by darkening them.
After this step, we simply “fill in” the inner fur with strokes until we reach the outer fur. Here, it is crucial to remember that you need to use both the horizontal and vertical center lines to help guide your fur direction outwards, as this will allow it to look symmetrical whilst giving the effect of a wind blowing towards the wolf’s face.
You can now erase the construction lines and add a second and third layer of fur strokes, starting with the top of the head and decreasing the hardness and amount of fur strokes as you go down towards the neck, giving you a fading effect.
As mentioned above, it is important to darken key facial features in order to make them stand out, as this is what will allow for instant recognition when someone views your drawing – cool wolf! To create more realism in your wolf drawing, be sure to add fine lines, details, and shadows around the eyes, snout/nose, jawline, and outer fur of your wolf face.
Things to Consider When Drawing a Wolf Face
- Begin with a simple oval shape and break down the wolf’s facial features into separate parts.
- The wolf’s key facial characteristics are important to emphasize.
- A wolf’s outer and inner fur will always spread outwards.
- Some minimal shading can make a big difference; try repeating and doing it slowly for a more realistic look.
Some Motivation and Tips to Make Wolf Drawing Easy
- Remember that drawing is not something you can instantly excel at without any practice. Any hard work, practice, time, and effort you put in will pay off on every artwork you work on. Not every artwork you make will be good, but your experience will grow.
- Art may take skill, but it also takes guidance. Thus, following a tutorial such as how to draw a wolf head can help you build your skill.
- Choose a workspace in which you feel creative and can express yourself! Ensure that it is neat and orderly whilst still being a spot of inspiration and creativity.
- If you are a traditional artist, know your pencils. Your pencils are your main tool when drawing, and the use of different pencil shades and thicknesses can change an artwork.
- Try drawing things you find challenging. Invest in an advanced online drawing course or do your own research on different techniques and try them out.
- Learn as much as you can about blending and color theory to allow for unlimited possibilities in your color shades combinations.
- To practice, begin by drawing from references or objects in front of you, as observation is what aids your realism, proportional scales, and perspectives when drawing.
- Try using different textures, materials, mediums, and platforms. Switch from traditional drawing to digital art – you might love it or even be able to enhance your skill more with digital software.
- Build your own style while developing your skill. The more you explore different techniques, styles, and mediums, the closer you will get to discovering your own unique art style!
And finally, never stop practicing!
View our Wolf Head Drawing web story here.