How to Draw Realistic Animal Hair for a Wolf

By Brenda Priddy

Things Needed

  • Photo of a wolf
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
There are several techniques for drawing realistic wolf fur.

Drawing realistic-looking fur for a wolf or any other animal is a difficult process. In fact, it is one of the harder elements of drawing to perfect. Drawing fur takes an excellent eye that can observe tiny details and translate them into the drawing. One of the hardest parts about drawing fur and hair on a wolf is that it uses the illusion technique. The drawing is almost more about what you don’t draw in the picture than what you actually do. Practice on a separate piece of paper before drawing the wolf to learn the technique without ruining the drawing.

Draw the body and outline of the wolf before starting to draw the hair. You can draw some allotment for hair in the general outline, such as the basic shape of the body or legs, but don’t worry about texture while making the basic outline.

Look closely at the photo of the wolf to determine how the hair grows. If you look closely, you will see that the hair grows in many different directions.

Draw long hatching lines for the fur. A hatching line is just simple lines in a row following a pattern. Draw the fur in the area of the wolf where the hair is thickest and darkest first, and then move on to the areas where the fur is thinner and shorter.

Follow the photo of the wolf for hair placement. Erase some of the outline lines to make room for the hair flowing down around the body, under the belly, around the neck and at the tail. Make just a few fur marks for a more cartoon-like drawing, or follow the photo exactly for a full body of hair on your wolf. For lighter fur, draw a few patches of light hatching marks to give the illusion that hair is in the light areas where there are actually no drawn lines.

Fill in the face and legs of the wolf last. Use short lines to draw the fur. Make the hair near the sides and back of the legs and head slightly darker than the middle to give the wolf a 3-D effect.

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.