How to Draw Uncle Sam

Easy, step by step Uncle Sam drawing tutorial
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"I want you for U.s. Army."
- Uncle Sam

The legend of Uncle Sam began in 1813. A meatpacker by the name of Samuel Wilson supplied the U.S. army with barrels of beef. Each barrel was stamped with "U.S." for "United States," but soldiers began calling the food "Uncle Sam's."

Years later, around the late 1860s, a political cartoonist named Thomas Nast gave the character his iconic look. Interestingly, Nast also created the modern Santa Claus, the democratic donkey, and the republican elephant. The most famous painting of Uncle Sam was created by the artist James Montgomery Flagg. It appeared on recruiting posters during World War I.

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In popular culture, this poster has been reused with different captions and satirized many times. For example, Star Wars fans may recall images of Darth Vader in a similar pose, with the words "I want you for the Imperial Army." Uncle Sam has been used in advertising everything "from cereal to car insurance."

Would you like to draw Uncle Sam? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: American Flag, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam drawing - step 1
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing Uncle Sam's hat. Use one curved line for the brim of the hat, and another for the crown. Allow the lines to overlap. Draw a wide "U" shaped line across the brim, separating it from the crown. Draw a curved line across the crown, with three five-pointed stars beneath it. Draw another curved line near the top of the hat, outlining the flat top of the crown. Draw vertical lines between this and the starred band.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 2
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 2

2. Begin drawing Uncle Sam's hair. Draw pairs of wavy lines, and allow them to meet at curled points at the end.

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Uncle Sam drawing - step 3
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 3

3. Continue drawing Uncle Sam's hair on the opposite side. Again, use pairs of curved lines that meet at a point.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 4
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 4

4. Use a series of overlapping curved lines to sketch Uncle Sam's ears and face. Then, draw a short, straight line across the chin. Extend a series of short, curved lines from each side, allowing them to meet at a point. This forms the goatee beard. On each side of the goatee, enclose a rounded triangle shape to form the sides of the bow tie. Use curved lines to indicate folds in the material.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 5
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 5

5. Draw the collar of Uncle Sam's coat. Use curved lines to enclose bent triangular shapes along the sides of the face and long, narrow curved triangles beneath the bowtie. These triangles should meet at the bottom to form another triangle between them. Draw curved lines beneath the beard to indicate folds in the shirt.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 6
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 6

6. Sketch the side and arm of the jacket. Use long and short overlapping lines to form the shapes, indicating ripples in the material.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 7
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 7

7. Sketch Uncle Sam's opposite side, including his famously pointing hand. Use overlapping curved lines to sketch the shoulder and arm of the jacket. Then, use a series of curved and "U" shaped lines to sketch the hand.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 8
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 8

8. Use curved lines to complete the shape of the jacket and to add dimension where needed. Draw Uncle Sam's eyes by shading two small circles and placing a curved line on top. Enclose a curved shape to indicate the eyebrow above each eye.

Uncle Sam drawing - step 9
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 9

9. Finish detailing Uncle Sam's face. Use "U" shaped lines to outline the mouth, and curved lines to detail around the eyes, ears, nose, sides of the mouth, tongue, teeth, and chin.

Complete Uncle Sam drawing
How to Draw Uncle Sam: Step 10

Color Uncle Sam. He typically has white hair and red, white, and blue clothing.

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The Complete Uncle Sam Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Uncle Sam - all drawing steps
How to Draw Uncle Sam

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