Zebras are wild horses native to Africa. Their bold, black and white coats serve as camouflage. The irregular pattern helps them blend in with tall grasses or with the shadows in a forest. They also blend in with each other when traveling in groups called herds.
There are different types of zebras, and each has a different stripe pattern. Grevy's zebra has thin stripes, and the mountain zebra has horizontal as well as vertical stripes. Some plains zebras have "shadow stripes" of brown between the black stripes.
Some people wonder whether zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes. According to the San Diego Zoo, the former is true - the black stripes end at their white bellies and upper legs. Their skin, however, is solid black, even beneath the white fur.
Zebras have been depicted in artwork for centuries. One of the oldest paintings of a zebra was done for an emperor in the first decades of the 1600's. Zebra print patterns remain popular in clothing and home decor. Animated films and television series also feature zebra characters. Among the most well known are the mascot for Fruit Stripe chewing gum, Marty (Madagascar, 2005), Stripes (Racing Stripes, 2005), and Zecora (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, 2010).
Would you like to draw your very own zebra? Doing so is easier than ever with this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and an eraser. You may also want to have colored pencils, crayons, paints, or markers handy in order to color your finished drawing.
Watch 'How to Draw a Zebra' Video Tutorial
Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Zebra
1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the zebra's head.
2. Draw a smaller circle near the first. This will form the zebra's snout.
3. Draw a large, rounded rectangular shape to form the zebra's body. Begin by drawing two straight, horizontal lines, parallel to one another. Then, connect the lines using two curved lines.
4. Connect the snout to the head, and the head to the body, using two pairs of straight lines.
5. Erase the guide lines from the head, neck, and body.
6. Draw the legs. For each leg, draw a set of long, straight, parallel lines descending from the body. Connect the lines at the bottom using a short, straight line, thus enclosing long, narrow rectangles. Indicate the hooves by drawing a short, straight line across the bottom of each leg. For the near legs, draw a set of curved lines at the top of each, indicating the shoulder and hip.
7. Add detail to your zebra. Draw two curved triangles extending from the head, forming the ears. Draw a long, curved line from the top of the head to the back to form the mane. Finally, extend two curved, parallel lines from the hip to form the tail. Allow the lines to diverge at the end, and connect them using a short, curved line. This indicates the tuft of fur at the tip of the tail.
8. Erase the guide lines from the legs, ears, and tail.
9. Every zebra has to have stripes. Draw thick, curved lines along the mane, legs, and tail. Shade the tip of the tail. Across the neck and back, draw narrow, curved triangles, and shade within the shapes. Finally, give your zebra a smile. Draw a curved line across the end of the snout, and another curve to indicate the mouth.
10. Color your zebra. Zebras are white with black or brown stripes.
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