How to Draw a Sloth

How to Draw a Sloth – Create an Adorable Sloth Sketch

Sloths, the adorable and quirky creatures of the rainforest, are known for their incredibly slow movements and sleepy disposition. With their long limbs and hook-like claws, they spend most of their lives hanging upside down from tree branches, blending seamlessly into their environment. Despite their sluggish appearance, sloths are expert swimmers and climbers, and their unique digestive system allows them to survive on a low-energy diet of leaves. With their endearing personalities and fascinating adaptations, it’s no wonder that sloths have captured the hearts of nature lovers all over the world! Get ready because today, we will show you how to draw a sloth in our easy step-by-step tutorial! 



A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Draw a Sloth 

Get ready for a fun and rewarding experience as you’re about to learn how to draw a sloth! Sloths have a unique appearance with their long, curved claws, round faces, and shaggy fur, which make them fascinating subjects to sketch. When drawing a sloth, start with a basic outline of their body shape and add in their distinctive features such as their large eyes and smiley mouth. Sloths have a lot of character, so don’t be afraid to exaggerate their expressions to make your drawing come to life. Pay attention to the texture of their fur, which can vary from thick and fluffy to sleek and shiny depending on the species.

With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to capture the charm and personality of these adorable creatures! By following the steps depicted in the collage below, you too can draw a sloth like a pro! 

Sloth Drawing Collage


Step 1: Draw the Head of Your Sloth Drawing 

Begin your drawing of a sloth, by drawing an oval shape that will represent the head of your sloth drawing.

Sloth Drawing 01


Step 2: Continue onto the Main Body

In this step, you will overlap the head, by drawing a larger oval to represent the main body.

Sloth Drawing 02


Step 3: Add the Arm and Leg to Your Sloth Sketch 

Draw the construction lines for the visible arm and leg of the sloth. To do this, draw a narrow oval shape overlapping the main body to represent the visible arm. Below the arm, draw a vertical oval shape with a small oval attached to represent the leg. 

Sloth Drawing 03


Step 4: Draw the Claws

Attached to the end of the hand and leg, draw three visible claws. 

Sloth Drawing 04


Step 5: Add the Facial Guidelines

Within the face, draw a vertical centerline and five horizontal crossing lines.

These guidelines will aid you in drawing the facial features on your sloth drawing. 

Sloth Drawing 05


Step 6: Start Adding Facial Features 

Make use of the previous guidelines to aid you in drawing the placement of the two eyes, including the facial pattern on your sloth sketch.

Sloth Drawing 06


Step 7: Draw the Nose and Mouth

In this step, begin to draw the nose between the two eyes and the simple mouth line.

Sloth Drawing 07


Step 8: Outline the Main Body of Your Sloth Sketch 

Begin to trace your entire drawing and outline a more realistic sloth body. Continue to connect the head to the main body. Finish this step by outlining the hand and leg of your sloth drawing.

Sloth Drawing 08


Step 9: Outline the Claws  

Outline the sharp claws on your sloth drawing, and draw a fine line within each claw.

Sloth Drawing 09


Step 10: Draw the Tree Branch

Draw two slightly curving lines beneath the sloth to represent the tree branch. 

Note! Your sloth drawing should look like it’s grabbing onto the tree branch. 

Sloth Drawing 10


Step 11: Outline the Head of Your Sloth Sketch     

Outline the head of your sloth by making use of your previously drawn construction lines. Complete the step by drawing the visible lower body line. Once you have completed this step, you may erase any construction lines that are still visible.

Sloth Drawing 11


Step 12: Draw the Facial Pattern

Within the face, continue the pattern, drawn in step six, and curve it around the forehead.

Sloth Drawing 12


Step 13: Add the Eyes of Your Sloth Drawing 

Draw the eyes within the circles drawn in step five. To do this, draw additional ovals within the eyes. 

Sloth Drawing 13


Step 14: Outline the Nose and Mouth

Begin to outline a more realistic nose and mouth line for your sloth drawing. Once you have completed this step, you can erase any still visible guidelines.

Sloth Drawing 14


Step 15: Apply the First Color Coat 

Select a fine, sharp brush and brown paint, and evenly coat your drawing of a sloth.

Sloth Drawing 15


Step 16: Color the Details

Use the same brush as previously and switch to dark brown paint, and evenly color the eyes and claws. Continue using gray paint to color the nose. Complete the step using light purple paint to color the lips.

Sloth Drawing 16


Step 17: Add Color to the Tree Branch

In this step, you will evenly coat the entire tree branch using a thin brush and dark olive paint.

Sloth Drawing 17


Step 18: Continue to Color Your Drawing of a Sloth

Begin by painting the face pattern of your sloth drawing with a thin brush and cream paint. Within the face pattern, make use of light brown paint to add a color blend to the bottom of the face.

Continue by using a small, soft brush and black paint, and add shading within and around the face and main body of the sloth. Continue by adding soft shading using a darker shade of brown.

When shading the face, remember to shade around the eyes, leaving a fine brown outline. Complete the step using a blending brush to smooth out the previously added colors. 

Sloth Drawing 18


Step 19: Texture the Head and Arm 

With a fine brush and a combination of tan, gray and black paint, add individual rough hairline brushstrokes covering the entirety of the head and arm. Follow the curvature of the outline to aid you in the direction the fur coat should curve in. Repeat the step using white paint.

Sloth Drawing 19


Step 20: Continue to Texture Your Sloth Drawing 

Use the same combination of paints and paintbrush as the previous step, and paint individual fine hairlines within the lower main body and leg.

Sloth Drawing 20


Step 21: Add Texture to the Rear of the Sloth

Repeat the previous two steps, and add fine hairline brushstrokes to the rear body of the sloth.

Remember, these hairlines need to be painted in a wavy motion to represent the rough and wave-like fur of a sloth.

Complete the step using a thin brush and the corresponding colors to add a fur coat extending the outline of the sloth. This will create a less “cut out” look.

Sloth Drawing 21


Step 22: Texture the Face

In this step, add fine hairline brushstrokes leading outwards from the face, using a thin brush and a combination of brown, white, gray, and black paint.

Sloth Drawing 22


Step 23: Continue to Texture the Facial Features

With a thin brush and black paint, trace the outline around the eyes and fill in the pupils. Switch to white paint, and add a shimmer to each eye. Continue by using a small, soft brush and black paint to shade the nose. Continue to shade the lips using gray paint. Switch to a thin brush and fill the nostril holes with black paint, leaving a small area of the first color coat visible. Repeat using white paint to add highlights.

Sloth Drawing 23


Step 24: Add Texture to the Branch

Continue to add shading to the edges of the tree branch, using a small, soft brush and black paint. Continue using a shade of mustard yellow paint, and lightly add an uncoat to the branch. Complete this step, using a combination of white, gray, and yellow paint, and add steak lines within the branch. Repeat using a rough brush, and dab patterns for a more intense texture.

Drawing of a Sloth 24


Step 25: Finalize Your Drawing of a Sloth 

Erase any harsh outlines that are still visible. Where this is not possible, select a fine, sharp brush and the corresponding colors and trace these harsh outlines to create a final seamless result of a sloth drawing.

Sloth Sketch 25


Congratulations on finishing our tutorial on how to draw a sloth! You have just created a wonderful piece of art that captures the unique characteristics of these charming animals. Now that you have mastered the basics of drawing a sloth, you can experiment with different styles and techniques to add your creative touch. Consider adding more details to your sloth, such as leaves to place it in its natural habitat. You can also experiment with different shading and coloring techniques to make your sloth stand out. Keep practicing and exploring your creativity, and who knows, you may even become a sloth drawing expert!



Frequently Asked Questions 


How to Make a Sloth Drawing Look More Realistic?

To make your sloth drawing look more realistic, focus on adding details that reflect the sloth’s unique characteristics. Sloths have shaggy fur, long claws, and a distinctive face shape, so pay close attention to those features. Try to replicate the texture of the fur using short, jagged lines and shading techniques, and make sure the claws are curved and hooked. Additionally, consider adding shadows and highlights to make the drawing more three-dimensional and realistic.


Can You Draw a Sloth in a Different Position or Pose?

Of course, you can certainly draw a sloth in a different position or pose! Sloths are known for their slow movements and their ability to hang upside down from tree branches, so you can play around with different poses to capture their unique character. You could draw a sloth stretching, sleeping, or climbing a tree, for example. Just make sure to pay attention to the sloth’s anatomy and posture to ensure that your drawing looks accurate and true to life.


Cite this Article

Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Sloth – Create an Adorable Sloth Sketch.” Art in Context. April 4, 2023. URL:

Matthysen, M. (2023, 4 April). How to Draw a Sloth – Create an Adorable Sloth Sketch. Art in Context.

Matthysen, Matthew. “How to Draw a Sloth – Create an Adorable Sloth Sketch.” Art in Context, April 4, 2023.

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