How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows."
- Gene Autry, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

How did a flying reindeer enter the Christmas tradition? The holiday has a long history of amalgamating customs from various sources. For example, Christmas itself was born from interposing the Christchild on the Roman religious festival of Saturnalia. Later, aspects of the celebration were drawn from Druid religious rites and feasts for the winter solstice. A yearly visit from Santa Clause was drawn from European folklore and traditions.

As time went on, this practice continued. By the 1900s, Christmas has become a largely secular holiday in many lands. Pulling from the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and from the story of the Ugly Duckling, the Montgomery Ward department store released Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a publicity stunt to draw customers. A copy of the book was given to each child who entered the store.

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The story became a classic Christmas song in 1949. An animated feature was released in 1964. It remains the most famous depiction of the misfit reindeer and the longest-running Christmas special in history, being replayed each year.

Did you know? Reindeer are real animals. They live in the Antarctic region and are used by the people there to pull carts. Real reindeer don't know how to fly, however.

Would you like to draw the most famous reindeer of all? This easy, step-by-step character drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and an eraser.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Cartoon Reindeer, Santas Sleigh, and Santa Claus.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form Rudolph's head.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 2

2. Enclose two teardrop shapes on one side of the head, one shape inside the other. This forms Rudolph's ear.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 3

3. Draw another, smaller, partial teardrop shape, enclosing the remaining ear.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 4

4. Draw Rudolph's mouth and nose. Begin by drawing an oval with a smaller oval inside it to form the shiny nose. Enclose two irregular rounded shapes beneath this, forming the snout. Draw another curved line parallel to the bottom portion of the snout, detailing the open mouth. Erase earlier lines as necessary.

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How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 5

5. Use curved lines to outline the neck and body.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 6

6. Use pairs of curved lines to begin outlining Rudolph's legs. Connect them using a curved line, outlining the belly.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 7

7. Use curved lines to outline the teardrop-shaped tail.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 8

8. Use curved lines to enclose Rudolph's feet and lower legs. Note the circular shape of the knees on the front legs. Then, detail his belly using curved lines beneath the neck, on the chest, and between the front and rear legs.

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How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 9

9. Detail your reindeer. Enclose two small, rounded rectangles on top of the head, indicating antlers. Enclose a teardrop shape for the near eye, and a round shape for the far eye. Within each eye, draw a circle within a circle. Draw three small, round spots on the hip, and draw a pair of curved lines across each foot to indicate the hoof.

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Step 10

Color Rudolph. He is typically brown in color with white markings and a bright red nose.

You can complete the team with this cartoon reindeer or this realistic one. Don't forget the sleigh, Santa, and his elves.

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The Complete Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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