How to Draw a Tiger

How to Draw a Tiger – A Fun Full Body Tiger Drawing

Everyone knows that lions are the kings of the jungle, but what would you think if you were misinformed? The real kings of the jungle are, in fact, tigers! They are bigger, stronger, and heavier than all other cats, including lions, and they also live in the jungle. One tiger can weigh as much as 661 lbs and can grow as long as 9.2 feet! Now that is a big cat. Today’s how-to-draw-a-tiger tutorial will embody a fierce and strong tiger, much like the well-known Shere Khan from the Jungle Book. Grab your pencils and paintbrushes, and let’s get started! 



An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Realistic Tiger 

Follow along with our how to draw a tiger tutorial, and we will take you step-by-step to create a realistic and fierce tiger! We will cover every step in full detail from drawing the construction lines to outlining, painting, shading, and even color blending a full-body tiger drawing. At the end of this drawing tutorial, you will have learned how to draw a tiger with ease!

The below tiger sketch collage demonstrates each step you will take to reach your end goal.

Tiger Drawing Collage


Step 1: Draw the Body of Your Tiger Drawing

Begin drawing the body of your tiger sketch by drawing a large oval. To the left of this oval, draw a smaller circle to represent the head. 

Tiger Drawing 01


Step 2: Draw the Legs 

Draw two narrow ovals, overlapping each other, on the left side of the body. Repeat this step on the right side of the body. 

Tiger Drawing 02


Step 3: Outline the Body 

Use the previously constructed lines to guide you in creating a realistic outline for your tiger drawing. Begin to freely draw the tiger outline by connecting the legs, including the head, top and rear body. 

Tiger Drawing 03


Step 4: Outline the Legs in Your Tiger Sketch 

Begin by drawing the front fully visible leg and paw. Draw the second partially visible leg behind the fully visible leg. Repeat this step on the back legs. 

Tiger Drawing 04


Step 5: Add the Facial Construction Lines

Within the head of your tiger face drawing, draw a single curving vertical line that will act as your centerline. Draw four overlapping horizontal lines including a bottom curved chin line. 

These construction lines will aid us in creating a more symmetrical tiger face drawing. 

Tiger Drawing 05


Step 6: Draw the Facial Features 

Between the first two vertical lines on the tiger face drawing, draw two eyes with a sharp eye curve. Include an iris in each eye. Continue by drawing the nostrils on the centerline and draw a curved mouth and jawline directly underneath. Add the ears to the top of the tiger’s head. Complete the step by drawing a curved tail. 

Tiger Drawing 06


Step 7: Add the Pattern to Your Realistic Tiger Drawing 

Begin this step by drawing abstract line patterns on the head and face, surrounding the facial features, and wrapping the pattern around the neck and body. Larger areas should contain larger patterns, and smaller areas should have smaller and more narrow patterns. Once completed, you may erase any visible construction lines. 

Tiger Drawing 07


Step 8: Paint the First Color Coat 

Select a regular paintbrush and dark orange paint, and evenly coat the entirety of your tiger sketch. 

Tiger Drawing 08


Step 9: Shade Your Full Body Tiger Drawing 

With a soft brush and black paint, begin to apply soft shading along the face and head, legs, body, and tail to your tiger drawing. Make use of a blending brush and fade the newly shaded areas. 

Tiger Drawing 09


Step 10: Fill In the Pattern 

Use a fine, sharp brush and gray paint, and fill the pattern lines with rough overlapping lines. Repeat this step using black paint. 

Tiger Drawing 10


Step 11: Texture the Body of Your Realistic Tiger 

Similar to the previous step, make use of a fine brush and a combination of light brown, tan, and gray paint, and paint fine brushstrokes along and in between the pattern lines. Repeat this step within the ears and surrounding the eyes.

This will create a more textured coat and elevate your realistic tiger drawing. 

Tiger Drawing 11


Step 12: Add a Second Color Coat 

Use a fine, sharp brush and white paint, and add rough and overlapping texture lines along the bottom half of your tiger’s body, neck, and tail. Complete this step using light gray paint, and add fine hairline brushstrokes to the bottom of the legs. 

Full Body Tiger Drawing 12


Step 13: Color Your Tiger Face Drawing 

Use the same brush as previously and switch to white paint, and continue to add the second color coat to the face and head to your tiger sketch. Continue with black paint and fill the pattern lines on the head and face, including the mouth and inner nostril area. Apply final shading surrounding the facial features and underneath the eyes using white paint. Make use of a soft brush and black paint, and softly add shading to the back of each leg and along the bottom paw line. 

Tiger Sketch 13


Step 14: Color the Eyes 

Make use of a fine brush and black paint, and paint a surrounding border around each eye. Switch to a light olive green paint and fill in each eye. Fill in the pupil on each eye with black paint. Finish the eyes using white paint to add a shimmer to each eye. 

Full Body Tiger drawing 14


Step 15: Enhance the Outer Fur 

In this step, make use of a fine brush and the corresponding colors to paint fine brushstrokes that are reaching beyond the outline of your tiger drawing. This will create a realistic outline rather than a “cut out” look. Combine white and black paint and apply fine brushstrokes along the lower face area to create whiskers.

Realistic Tiger 15


Step 16: Add a Ground Shadow 

Make use of a small, soft brush and black paint, and add a dark shadow directly underneath your tiger sketch. Use a blending brush and smooth out the edges of the shadow to create a realistic look. 

Realistic Tiger 16


Step 17: Finalize Your Full Body Tiger Drawing 

Select a fine, sharp brush and the corresponding colors, and go over the entire outline of your tiger drawing. This will help you to achieve a realistic tiger drawing! 

Tiger Face Drawing 17


Well done on completing our how to draw a tiger drawing tutorial! You have just created a realistic tiger that looks fierce and powerful. We hope you enjoyed our step-by-step tutorial, and will make the most of the skills you have acquired today. We can’t wait to see what else you are going to draw! 



Frequently Asked Questions 


What Colors Can a Tiger Sketch Be? 

Today’s tutorial on how to draw a tiger took reference from a Bengal tiger. Bengal tigers have a traditional coloring of orange fur with black stripes. However, there are other color variations, such as white, and stripless white tigers. You may choose any of these colors and more importantly, your tiger will still look realistic! 


Is It Easy To Draw a Tiger’s Face? 

When you draw proper construction lines, you can create a symmetrical face for your tiger. Our drawing tutorial will show you step-by-step how to easily create a tiger face drawing. After some practice, you will be able to easily draw the face of any animal! 


Cite this Article

Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Tiger – A Fun Full Body Tiger Drawing.” Art in Context. February 28, 2023. URL:

Matthysen, M. (2023, 28 February). How to Draw a Tiger – A Fun Full Body Tiger Drawing. Art in Context.

Matthysen, Matthew. “How to Draw a Tiger – A Fun Full Body Tiger Drawing.” Art in Context, February 28, 2023.

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