Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Animals, Pet Animals | 0 comments
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How to Draw a Cow

Please PAUSE the video after each step to draw at your own pace (scroll down to see the final cow drawing).

For the first few steps, don’t press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.

Step 1: Draw two circles as guides for the cow’s body. They don’t have to be perfect. They’re just guides. The circles should be right next to each other, and the circle on the right should be a bit smaller than the one on the left.

Step 2: Draw a very small circle (about the quarter the size of the first) on the upper left side as a guide for the cow’s head.

Step 3: Draw two lines across the head to help you place the facial features later on. The vertical line should extend outside the circle a bit.

Step 4: Use the extended line as a guide to draw a U-shaped curve under the head as a guide for the cow’s muzzle.

Step 5: Draw a sideways arc on either side of the head as a guide for the ears.

Step 6: Draw two lines under the body (one below each circle) as guides for the legs.

Step 7: Draw a series of curved lines that connect the major shapes to form the cow’s body. Add a long line on the right side as a guide for the cow’s tail.

That’s it for the initial sketch! From this point on, press harder with your pencil to get a more defined sketch.

Step 8: Draw the eyes inside the cow’s head using the lines as guides for placement. The shape of the eye is similar to a half circle. Darken the top portion of the edges of the eye more. Shade in the inside of the cow’s eyes except for a small circle to indicate glare.

Step 9: Draw the cow’s nose under the main circle. The shape of the nostrils are similar to water drops. Then add a few lines around them for extra detail.

Step 10: Use the U- shaped line as a guide to draw the cow’s mouth, which is made up of two curved horizontal lines.

Step 11: Draw the cow’s ears by using the arcs on the sides as guides. Curve the lines more as you darken the cow’s ears to give them more shape. Draw a few more lines within them for extra detail.

Step 12: Use the remaining lines as guides to finish the rest of the head. Use quick, short strokes at the top and make the sides of the cow’s face more narrow.

Step 13: Using the line as a guide, draw the cow’s front legs. Draw lightly at first to get the structure right. When you’re happy with what you have, go ahead and darken it. The cow’s leg is thick on top and thin at the bottom. Be sure to draw a few bumps along the way to represent joints and the cow’s hooves at the bottom. Draw the cow’s leg on the other side the same way. A lot of it is hidden behind the cow’s front leg, so only draw the visible portion.

Step 14: Use the other line as a guide to draw the cow’s hind legs the same way as the front legs. Remember to draw the leg lightly at first, then darken it when you have the structure right. The hind legs are thicker at the base and angle back more. Don’t forget the cow’s hooves at the bottom! Draw the leg on the other side using the same technique and leave a space between the top of the leg and the body for the cow’s udder.

Step 15: Darken the initial lines to draw the rest of the cow’s body. Draw more curves and bumps along the way to give the cow’s body more structure.

Step 16: Draw the udder under the cow’s body on the right side. The udder is basically a curved line with two long U- shaped curves for the teats. The other two teats are hidden by the cow’s leg.

Step 17: Use the line as a guide to draw the cow’s tail using quick strokes at the bottom to represent hair.

Step 18 (optional): You can stop here for a sketchy look or erase as much as you can of the initial guide lines for a cleaner look. Don’t worry about erasing all of them. It’s okay to leave some behind. Also re-draw any final sketch lines that you may have accidentally erased.

Step 19 (optional): Add some shading to your drawing to give it more dimension and volume. Pick the direction of the light source when shading so that the shadows are consistent with it. Vary the pressure on your pencil to get different degrees of tonal value.

Step 20 (optional): Add a cast shadow underneath. This helps ground the cow so it doesn’t appear to be floating.

Step 21 (optional): You can add more value throughout your drawing for extra detail. You can add a single value to the entire cow to get more of a Jersey cow look. For the classic Holstein look, draw dark patches throughout. You can use reference when adding the markings on the body, but don’t overthink it – just add them randomly. Pause the video to use this drawing as reference and at any other time you need help.