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The gray wolf (scientific name, Canis lupus) is an animal both feared and admired. The ancestors of domestic dogs, wolves are known for their iconic howling. They are large pack hunters that can weigh as much as 175 pounds.
Some cultures fear the wolf – in many parts of their range, throughout Europe and North America, wolves have been hunted almost to extinction by farmers hoping to protect their livestock.
To some Native American tribes, however, wolves are sacred animals. For example, among the Cherokee, only members of the family line known as the Wolf Clan could kill a wolf, and then only under certain circumstances. Wolves still play a pivotal role in Native American art – as well as popular culture – today.
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Would you like to draw your very own gray wolf? If so, simply follow this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial to learn how.
You will need a piece of paper, an eraser, and a drawing implement, such as a pencil. You may also want to have crayons, colored pencils, or markers on hand to color your completed wolf.
Each step in this drawing guide is illustrated with a detailed picture. In each example picture, the new lines drawn in that step are highlighted in light blue. All other lines are shown in black.
You will want to sketch your lines lightly at first, as some lines will need to be erased in order to complete the drawing.
Are you ready to draw a gray wolf? You are in for a howling good time.
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- Sharpie marker to draw clean, black lines.
- Good, cheap paper to draw on or a sketch pad to take with you on your travels.
- Bright, easy to blend colored pencils or cheaper oil pastels.
- Pencil set to practice drawing and shading together with a vinyl or kneaded eraser, and a sharpener. If you draw a lot with pencils, you could even get yourself an electric sharpener.
- Faber-Castell’s Amazon store has all the above, plus great art sets for kids.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Wolf
Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the wolf’s head.
From each side of the circle, draw a curved line extending downward.
Draw ears on top of the head. For each ear, draw three curved lines that converge in a point.
Erase the guide lines formed by the original circle.
Draw the fur of the neck extending downward from the head. This fur consists of a series of alternating long and short curved lines. The lines meet sharply to form jagged points.
Draw a half circle encompassing the fur lines just drawn.
Draw another, irregular half circle extending to the left from the first.
Draw a rear leg extending downward from the irregular half circle. The leg consists of two curved lines that get nearer to one another towards the bottom. Draw two curved lines to form the front leg, beginning from the middle and side of the first half circle.
Draw the right front leg consisting of three curved lines. Begin the rear right leg by drawing one curved line.
Erase the guide lines formed by the half circles from the body. The form of your wolf now becomes clear.
Add detail to the fur. Using short, curved lines that join in jagged points, draw tufts of fur at the base of each ear. Add similar details to the chest, shoulders, rump, and legs. Use a curved line to extend the line of the stomach across the rear leg.
Draw the tail. Begin with a long, curved line extending from the rump. Then, use a series of about seven shorter curved lines of varying lengths to add jagged details of fur and complete the tail.
Draw each of the four feet. For each foot, connect a roughly “U” shaped curved line to the end of each set of leg lines.
Draw toes within the feet. Do this by placing two curved lines at the end of each foot.
Draw each eye using two short, curved lines.
To form the snout, draw a wide “U” shaped line in the middle of the face.
Draw a short, curved line at the tip of the snout, and extend a short line upwards from the curve. Atop this line, draw the nose, a round shape slightly pointed at the bottom.
Detail the eyes. For each eye, draw a circle within a circle. Shade the inner circle.
Using short, curved lines, add detail to the face – between the eyes, beneath the eyes, and on either side of the snout.
Color your wolf. Gray wolves are often depicted as being varying shades of gray in color, but they can also be brown, black, reddish, or even white.
Printable PDF of the Drawing Guide
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