How to Draw a Porcupine

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"I loved that porcupine tie so much that I decided to start a collection. Two years after we settled in Arizona, the number of ties in my collection was still one. Where do you find a porcupine necktie in Mica, Arizona - or anywhere else, for that matter?"
- Leo Borlock, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The porcupine is one of the world's largest rodents. Also called a "quill pig," porcupines are known for their sharp, stiff, modified hairs which they use for protection. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot "throw" or "shoot" their quills. Rather, the porcupine may back up into its attacker, leaving the sharp quills behind.

Did you know? There are 25 different species of porcupine. The North American porcupine is the most well-known. It carries up to 30,000 quills. Some species in Europe and Africa have hollow quills that they rattle in warning. Tropical porcupines may have prehensile tails. Hedgehogs and echidnas, other mammals with spines, are not porcupines and do not shed their quills as porcupines do.

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Native Americans used porcupine quills to make headdresses and to embellish other items. Some of these can be seen in museums today. Women of the Lakota tribe harvested quills without harming the animal; they would throw a blanket over it, and collect the quills that remained stuck in the blanket.

Porcupines occasionally feature in artwork. As seen in the quote above, a necktie with a painted porcupine featured in the Disney film Stargirl. Porcupine characters have appeared in Sing!, Over the Hedge, and other animated films.

Would you like to draw a cartoon porcupine? This easy, step-by-step cartoon animal drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Beaver, Skunk, and Sloth.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Porcupine

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing two overlapping curved lines. This will form the porcupine’s face.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 2

2. Draw an inverted triangle with rounded corners. This is the porcupine’s nose.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 3

3. Draw the eyes, erasing as necessary. For each eye, use two curved lines to outline the double-pointed shape. Then, draw a circle or oval within each eye.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 4

4. Starting at the top of the head, draw a series of long and short curved lines that meet at sharp points. Extend another series of long and short lines beneath this, to meet the first series at a point. Notice that in the lower segment, the long lines aren’t quite as long as they are on the top. This outlines the quills on the porcupine’s back.

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How to Draw Porcupine: Step 5

5. Draw the porcupine’s ears, erasing as necessary. Outline each ear using a curved line. Detail the interior of the near ear with a “C” shaped line.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 6

6. Draw the porcupine’s paw. Outline the paw using a curved line. Then, distinguish the toes with short curved lines.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 7

7. Draw the porcupine’s remaining foreleg. Outline the leg using a long curved line, and differentiate the toes with short curved lines.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 8

8. Draw the rear leg. Outline it with a series of curved lines, noting the jagged tuft of fur at the knee. Differentiate the toes using short curved lines.

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How to Draw Porcupine: Step 9

9. Draw a tuft of quills around the porcupine’s tail. Use curved lines of various lengths, and allow them to meet at jagged points.

How to Draw Porcupine: Step 10

Color your cartoon porcupine. They are usually black or brown in color. Depending on the species, the quills may be banded with white, yellow, or orange stripes.

Then, fill your forest with friendly woodland creatures.

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The Complete Porcupine Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Porcupine

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