How to Draw Wolves Step-by-Step

Illustrations by Karen Frisch

Things You'll Need

  • Smooth white paper
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Clean eraser

Wolves are one of nature's most majestic creatures, especially when you see them in the wild or experience their haunting howl. Drawing them for the first time isn't difficult if you focus on their shape rather than the detail within. One of the most typical images of wolves is the way they are pictured in movies and on TV, with their faces turned upward as they howl. The sketch described here will produce a good beginning drawing.

Head and neck

Start by drawing the wolf's face and head. The profile lets you concentrate on shape without having to worry about both sides of his face. Note the length of the nose in relation to the head, half closed eye and slope of the ear.

Back and chest

Add the slope of his back and slant of his chest. Watch the angles as you draw. For now, just make the lines, keeping them fluid rather than rigid. You will add fur later to soften his appearance and give him an air of realism.

Legs and belly

Add his front legs, one behind the other, so you don't see the second one. Draw a line that goes slightly uphill for his belly. Attach it to the back leg, again in front of the other. Note the curve of the wolf's leg as it slopes upward over the end to meet the back.

The tail

Add the curve of his tail in a smooth, sweeping motion.

Refining the lines

Study the wolf you've drawn and refine the lines. If the back is too long, erase it and draw it shorter this time. If the legs appear awkward, look at the proportions (see Tip below). Erase them and try again.

Adding detail

Add detail once you're satisfied with the general shape of your wolf. Picture him in the light. Add shadows where you think they would naturally be. Feather his fur along his chest and back by using short strokes to show texture and to break up long pencil strokes.


  • Pay attention to proportion when drawing animals. The wolf's leg is made of two parts, with the lower part below the elbow forming only a quarter of the overall length. The way to become good at drawing is steady practice. You'll be surprised at the progress you'll make over time. Looking at photographs of animals will help you with more complex skills like body shape and shadows.