How to Draw a Jungle

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Jungles go by many names - tropical forest, rainforest, monsoon forest, and cloud forest. Jungles grow in regions where the weather is warm year-round. They are characterized by "luxuriant, tangled, impenetrable vegetation, generally teeming with wildlife." Interestingly, the Sanskrit word from which the term "jungle" is derived describes just the opposite; it means "dry ground or desert."

Jungles in different parts of the world are home to different types of wildlife. Lemurs dominate the trees in the jungles of Madagascar; African rain forests have forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, horn-bill birds, and many other animals.

South American rain forest inhabitants include caimans, a type of crocodile; colorful macaws; the world's largest rodent, the capybara; jaguars; and howler monkeys, among other animals. Borneo is home to the orangutan or "wise man of the forest," and in Papua New Guinea's tropical forests you can see rare birds of paradise.

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Jungles have long excited the human imagination. Classic stories such as The Jungle Book, Tarzan, and The Lost World are set in these rich environments. Jungles have also been used as metaphors for wild and dangerous places. For example, large cities are sometimes called "concrete jungles." This originated as a metaphor in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, chronicling life in Chicago.

Would you like to draw a mysterious jungle? This easy, step-by-step landscape drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Lake, Mountains, and Island.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Jungle

How to Draw Jungle: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a waterfall in one corner of the landscape. Use overlapping curved lines to sketch the rocks and falling water. Texture the water with additional curved lines.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 2

2. Use "U" shaped lines to sketch the splashing water at the bottom of the falls, the riverbank, and ripples on the water.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 3

3. Draw the winding river using long, curved lines. Enclose the irregular rounded shape of a rock, then draw curved ripples around the rock and riverbank.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 4

4. Draw leafy, tropical plants growing along the river. Many of the plants are very simple in form - draw two curved lines that meet at a point, and perhaps a curved vein down the center. Then, try your hand at a more complex philodendron. Draw the leaf in segments, each like a curved rectangle. Then, draw the central vein.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 5

5. Draw a tree branching above the river. Use curved lines to sketch the branches, some coming together to form pointed twigs. Use "U" shaped lines to texture the bark and to sketch the cloudlike treetop or canopy.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 6

6. Draw a palm tree at the river's edge. Use a pair of lines to form the trunk, then use curved lines that meet at points to sketch the leaves.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 7

7. Draw more vegetation. Draw simple pointed leaves as well as lobed compound leaves. Fill in the space between the two trees.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 8

8. Draw more plants and trees in the distance. Draw compound leaves and another palm tree. Then, use a series of connected, "U" shaped lines to indicate the rest of the forest.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 9

9. Draw additional layers of connected "U" shaped lines. Sketch two triangular mountains on the horizon, and use curved and "U" shaped lines to draw a fluffy cloud.

How to Draw Jungle: Step 10

Color your jungle. These forests are dominated by rich, green plant life. Color your cartoon jungle, and fill it with plenty of cartoon beasts. Travel to the heart of Africa with rhinos, lions, elephants, hippos, and giraffes, or create a fairytale paradise inhabited by unicorn and pegasus.

Learn to draw more cartoon landscapes, including lakes, islands, ocean sunsets, deserts, rivers, mountains, and beaches.

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The Complete Jungle Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Jungle

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