Learning how to draw leopards can be fun for adults and children alike. Leopards are beautiful, wild animals that are most commonly known for their distinctive spots. Many types of leopards have made it to the Endangered Species list and this has caused the interest in this feline to increase dramatically. Creating art to honor this animal is a great way to express one’s self and it can be used to relieve stress as well.

Drawing a leopard is easier than one might think. As long as a person has a pencil with an eraser (or a separate eraser) and some sketching paper, this is all the supplies that are required. While it can be advantageous to have colored pencils or paints in order to add color to the body of the leopard after sketching it, this is not required.

The best way to learn how to draw a leopard is to look at photos of them. This can be done by exploring various websites or even going to a zoo and seeing them in person. Leopards can be depicted in a variety of poses. They can be curled up on the ground, running through a meadow, or hanging from a tree. It is important to determine what pose they will be in within the drawing prior to making a single sketch.

Learn the Basic Design of a Leopard

Understanding leopard anatomy is critical to being able to make a quality drawing. There is a head, torso, tail and four legs. By identifying basic shapes that they resemble, it is easier to break down the overall drawing. The first few attempts can be crude and that is okay as long as the overall design resembles a leopard.

As drawings of a leopard are made, one can compare them to an actual leopard photo to see how close they are. Learning the proportions may take time. Leopards in nature are very large and slinky. Creating a long enough torso is important to avoid creating an overcrowded situation with their legs. The drawing should be as natural as possible.

The first few sketches should be done lightly with pencil. This will allow a person to erase certain parts of the drawing as necessary to redraw them smaller, larger or in a different shape. Starting with the body can be the best way to ensure the proportion is correct. Two circles placed side by side will create this. The head can then be drawn, along with the muzzle and the ears. From there, the legs and the tail can be added.

Add in Details

At any time, the eraser can be used in order to eliminate extra lines or errors. A photo of a leopard should be used while drawing to have a point of reference. If at any time a person forgets what a leopard has or what a part of the body is shaped like, they can look up to see the wild cat.

After the outline of the leopard is created, it will be easier to go in and complete the details. This includes the eyes, nose and mouth along the face. The leopard can have its mouth open or closed. If it is open, teeth will also need to be drawn in – and these are usually triangular because leopards are carnivores and thus, they eat meat. The leopard can be drawn in as much detail as a person wants. This can include the whiskers, the tuft around the ears, and the claws on each of the feet.

One of the favorite parts about drawing a leopard is adding the spots. The spots are not perfect circles. They are oblong and odd shapes throughout the body. They can be larger through the torso and smaller on the face, though this is going to vary based upon the type of leopard that is being drawn. In a black and white drawing, the type isn’t as important because there are no colors being added.

When a leopard is drawn in color, it is important to identify the type. The common leopard is one that is golden tan with brownish black spots across its fur. There is often some white mixed in. There is also a snow leopard, which is a white and cream color with black and gray spots throughout.

Bring the Drawing Together

By following this basic how-to, anyone is able to draw a leopard. Even without any kind of previous drawing experience, anyone is able to learn how to draw a leopard. This can be a great way to learn more about the anatomy of the wild cat as well as to practice drawing an animal instead of a landscape or something abstract.

Make Advanced Drawings

As experience is gained with drawing leopards, one may want to move on to different poses. A sleeping leopard is perhaps the easiest because the legs do not have to be drawn in detail and the mouth is closed. A leopard that is getting ready to attack its prey is more difficult because the mouth is usually open, depicting teeth as well as a curled tongue. The leopard will also be standing, so the proportions of the legs must be as close to perfect as possible. It can also be interesting to increase the size of the canvas in order to draw the leopard larger and larger as skill is developed in order to go into more detail throughout the entire body – and even add a landscape in the background to create an entire scene with the leopard in it.

Practicing is important in the drawing process. The basic steps have been included to make it easy for anyone to pick up a pencil and a piece of sketch paper to begin drawing. When a person draws the same subject over and over again, they will begin to understand the proportions as well as what is required to make the drawing look more like the picture. After mastering the drawing with a pencil and paper, other mediums can be introduced as well. This includes crayon, marker, watercolor and acrylic paints.


Cynthia Lopez