How to Draw a Cartoon Tiger

From realistic tiger characters such as Aladdin’s Rajah (1992) and The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan (1967), to anthropomorphic characters such as Tigger (Winnie-the-Pooh, 1952), Hobbes from the Calvin and Hobbes comics, and Kellogg’s cereal’s Tony the Tiger, tigers (Panthera tigris) have long been a popular subject in children’s cartoons.

For thousands of years, tigers have graced the art of many lands, across their home range and elsewhere. This is especially true in areas that included the tiger as a zodiac symbol, such as China.

Would you like to draw your very own cartoon tiger? Now you can, by following this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need to follow these easy instructions is a piece of paper and a pencil. You may also want to use an eraser to correct any mistakes, and crayons, markers, or colored pencils to shade your finished tiger.

In each step of this drawing guide, new lines added during that step are shown in light blue. Lines drawn during previous steps are shown in black. Sketch lightly at first, as you will be erasing some of the early lines, called guide lines, as you go along.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Horse Head, Simple Dog, and Cartoon Dinosaur.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Cartoon Tiger

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 1

Begin by drawing a small circle.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 2

Next, draw a curved line beneath the circle. The line should include two blunt corners, forming a roughly trapezoidal shape.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 3

Draw a curved line on each side of the previous shape.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 4

Erase the guide lines from within the enclosed figure.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 5

Draw a second circle very close to the enclosed figure.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 6

Draw a third, smaller circle.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 7

Connect the shapes using a long, curved line.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 8

Draw two wavy, parallel lines extending downward from the middle circle. Draw two more curved lines extending from the third circle.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 9

Connect the first and third circles using a curved line.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 10

Erase the guide lines formed by the second and third circles.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 11

Draw the tail using a long, curved line that doubles back upon itself.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 12

Extend two curved lines downward from the base of the foreleg, and two more from below the tail.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 13

Draw feet at the bottom of each leg. Include toes on the feet using a series of sideways, “U” shaped lines.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 14

Draw an ear on each side of the head. To draw the ear, enclose a shape using a curved line. Within the ear, add detail using one or two short, curved lines.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 15

Erase the guide line from the top of the head. Extend two slightly curved lines down the center of the face. Enclose the shape of the nose using two curved lines. Draw a curved line down the length of the belly.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 16

Draw the eyes. Begin by drawing a slightly curved line on each side of the nose. Enclose a half circle below the line. Draw another half circle within the first, and shade it. Draw two curved lines in an open triangular shape above each eye.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 17

Draw a wide, “U” shaped line beneath the nose. Connect it to the nose using a straight line. Draw several dots between the mouth and nose, then extend several curved lines from the dots to form whiskers.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 18

Draw a series of stripes along the face, back, tail and legs. Compose each stripe of two curved lines, meeting in a point. Shade the stripes. Draw a curved line across the tip of the tail and shade between the line and the tip. Draw a curved triangle extending from each toe to form claws. Shade the claws.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 19

Give your tiger some ground to stand on. Draw a series of overlapping, curved lines beneath his feet. Use a series of short, curved lines meeting in jagged points to form a tuft of grass.

How to Draw Cartoon Tiger: Step 20

Color your tiger. Most tigers are either white or orange with black stripes.

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