Wolf drawing, how to sketch one for a finished drawing or a painting.

In this exercise of a wolf drawing, I'm going to prep my canvas for a nice little painting using a bit of wildlife.  The reason behind the work is we thought we saw a wolf this week on a neighbors front porch.  

It ended up being my niece's dog that had escaped his fenced in yard.  He is a siberian husky breed, and massive.  After a little chasing, we got him back home.  But this got me thinking about creating some wolf art.

Our reference photo comes from a great source of photo's that can be used to make your wolf drawing.  You can find more here:


The photographer is Nigel Espley.

wolf reference photo

The video below summarizes what we have done here, so don't forget to review it!  Click on any photo to enlarge and see close up what is on my canvas board.

Wolf drawing, Simple shapes to start drawing and creating our wolf.

wolf drawing

Step 1.  Click the image to expand the view and get a close up!

We start with very simple shapes, but bear in mind where the full body will be located on the picture.  I pay particular attention to the placement of her muzzle as it is critical to the outcome of my composition.  You will see why later in the process.

wolf drawing

Step 2. These simple shapes a checked using the proportional divider to check measurements.  Back an forth from the reference photo to the board.  Remember, just do the outline at this point and check measurements.

wolf drawing

Feeling pretty good about what I have at this point.  My outline shows a wolf.

Our wolf drawing outline is complete.

wolf drawing

Step 3.
  Here, I begin to put in details that will define where important parts of a wolf drawing must be.  Eyes, ears, I've even got a couple of teeth showing in that muzzle.  I'm also just sketching in areas that I know are either in shadow or dark fur.

wolf drawing

Final part of the wolf drawing is started.

Step 4.  My final details and simulation of fur being placed around the head area.

wolf drawing

Step 5.  Working left to right, from up to down to keep my hand out of the outline as much as possible so that there is no smudging.  This is pretty close to finishing up my drawing, but it now quite finished as a completed image or piece of art.

wolf drawing

No respectable wolf would be caught howling without that big ol' moon behind them.

wolf drawing

A few things to remember about drawing wolves.

  • Things to be aware of when drawing your wolf.  They have long legs, with a very long front paw and relatively short hind paw. 

  • They also have a very narrow chest, so they keep their forelegs close. This causes their paws to be splayed outward.

  • The tail is also quite long should reach the heels. It should be straight with a very subtle curl near the end.  

  • They also have a large mass of fur around their neck and shoulders, similar to a lions mane cape for protection from cold and fighting.

Now, back to my drawing.  My moon is placed perfectly.

wolf drawing

After adding some details to my moon, and I think I'm about ready to apply a fixative to the drawing to keep it from being smeared.

Using the re-touch varnish be careful, fine lines may disappear.  I think I went a bit heavy as some of the fine details were lost, and the graphite became quite dark.

Completed wolf drawing.

wolf drawing

My finished wolf art drawing, now ready for my first layers of paint.  Stay tuned for the completion of the painting in the next few days.  I'll post out another newsletter to let you be in the know!

wolf drawing

The rest of the story, from wolf drawing to wolf art.

And a really cool video showing the process of drawing thru completed painting.

The final painting (below) sold fairly quickly.  Folks love wildlife! Click the image to supersize it.

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Care to see more of my work?  Click here to head over to my fine art site at delmusphelps.com