How to Draw a Sloth

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Sloths represent five to six mammal species that live in the trees of South and Central America. They are known for moving very slowly. While they may resemble monkeys, they are not considered primates. They are actually considered close relatives of anteaters.

Why do sloths move so slowly? They have a very slow metabolism, meaning they digest their food slowly and use little energy.

Interestingly, sloths are very good swimmers and can often be found swimming between tropical islands in order to find a mate. Thanks to their metabolism, sloths can hold their breath underwater for up to forty minutes.

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A species of moth known as the sloth moth depends on the sloth’s fur to provide it a home.

Some of the most memorable sloths in popular culture were Flash and his friends in Disney’s Zootopia. The sloth’s slowness was used to satirize complaints against the Department of Motor Vehicles. Sid, a favorite character from the animated Ice Age series, represents an extinct species of prehistoric ground sloth.

Sloths can also be found in artwork, on clothing and accessories, and even as decorative tea infusers.

If slow and steady wins the race, we think the sloth’s a winner. Would you like to draw a slow and steady sloth? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is designed to make doing so simple and fun. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Penguin, Raccoon, and Koala.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Sloth

How to Draw Sloth: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the sloth’s head.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 2

2. Use a long, curved line to enclose an irregular rounded shape. Extend the line from the head, and double it back upon itself. This will form the sloth’s body.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 3

3. Draw the sloth’s arm. For the top side of the arm, extend a “C” shaped line upwards from the body. Then, use a series of short, curved, overlapping lines to draw the underside of the arm.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 4

4. Draw the rear leg in similar fashion to the arm. Use a curved, “C” shaped line, extended upward, to form the top of the leg. Then, draw the underside of the leg using short, overlapping lines. This gives the leg a furry appearance.

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How to Draw Sloth: Step 5

5. Erase the guide lines from the arm and leg.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 6

6. Draw a tree branch for the sloth to cling to. Craft the branch using two parallel curved lines beneath the leg, between the arm and leg, and above the arm. Use a “V” shaped line to form a split in the branch.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 7

7. Draw the sloth’s far arm. Between the body and the tree, us a curved line and a series of overlapping curved lines as before. Then, use two curved lines that meet in a point to form the hand grasping the branch. Erase guide lines as necessary. Draw a curved line across the top of the hand, and use additional curved lines to distinguish the fingers.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 8

8. Enclose a rounded shape within the head to indicate the face. Then, shade two curved shapes to form the eyes.

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How to Draw Sloth: Step 9

9. Draw a curved, roughly “C” shaped line to connect the eyes, forming the snout. Shade a rounded triangle within the snout to indicate the nose.

How to Draw Sloth: Step 10

10. Color your sloth. Their fur is typically tan or grey in color, but they may appear greenish due to algae growing on their fur.

Check out our other animal drawing guides for even more wildlife fun.

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The Complete Sloth Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Sloth

Printable PDF of the Drawing Guide

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