Art History Lab

Roaring Success: A Tutorial on Drawing a Cheetah

Introduction to Cheetah Drawing Tutorial

Cheetahs are remarkable animals known for their speed and agility. Their grace and beauty have captured the hearts of many and inspired people to create amazing artworks.

In this article, we will provide an introduction to a Cheetah Drawing Tutorial and guide you through the steps to create a stunning illustration.

Starting a Cheetah Drawing with Basic Shapes and Lines

Every drawing starts with a basic shape. Before you begin drawing, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the animal you’re working with.

Cheetahs are known for their slender body, long tail, and distinctive spots. To recreate these features accurately, you’ll need to start with a basic shape.

Step 1: Begin by drawing a circle for the head.

Step 2: Draw a slightly stretched-out oval shape for the body.

Step 3: Draw a line extending from the oval shape for the tail.

Step 4: Add two lines extending downwards from the head circle for the neck.

Step 5: Sketch four lines extending from the body for the legs.

Step 6: Draw smaller circles at the end of each leg for the feet.

Voila! You’ve created a basic outline for your cheetah drawing. Next, it’s time to add details and bring your drawing to life.

Outlining the Structure of the Cheetah

Now that you have the basic structure of your cheetah drawing, you can start adding details. It’s important to pay attention to the anatomy of the animal to create a realistic drawing.

Add the shape of the cheetah’s head by drawing two lines from the circle you created earlier. Join the lines at the bottom with a curved line to form the chin.

Use curved lines to draw the cheetah’s ears, which should be placed on top of the head. Next, you can outline the cheetah’s body using the oval shape as a guide.

Draw curved lines to indicate the shoulders and hips, and a squiggly line to represent the spine. Add muscle definition to the legs by drawing small circles to indicate the joints.

Finally, it’s time to add the distinctive spots that make cheetahs so unique. The spots are irregular and vary in size, so use a combination of small and large circles.

Draw them along the cheetah’s back, legs, and tail.

Adding Details and Coloring to the Cheetah Illustration

Now that you have outlined the structure of your cheetah drawing and added the spots, it’s time to add details like the eyes, nose, and mouth to your cheetah illustration. The eyes should be elongated ovals with a black circle in the center to represent the pupils.

Draw a small triangular shape to represent the nose and two curved lines for the mouth. Don’t forget to add the whiskers!

Once you have completed the outline of your cheetah and added details, it’s time to choose a color palette for your illustration.

Cheetahs are known for their distinctive golden-brown fur, dark spots, and white underbelly. Use shades of brown and black to color the spots and white for the underbelly.


Drawing a cheetah can be a rewarding experience with the right techniques and guidance. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you’ll be able to create your own stunning cheetah illustration.

Remember to pay attention to the animal’s anatomy, use basic shapes, add details, and choose a color palette that suits your vision. With practice, you’ll be able to create more complex and realistic cheetah drawings.

Happy drawing!

Coloring the Cheetah Illustration

Now that you’ve outlined and added details to your cheetah drawing, it’s time to add color and texture. In this section, we will cover some tips and techniques on how to color the cheetah illustration to bring it to life.

Base Coat and Lighter Color Coat

The first step in coloring your cheetah illustration is to add a base coat. Start by choosing a lighter shade of brown for the cheetah’s fur and apply it evenly throughout the body.

Use small circular motions to create a more even coat. Once you’ve added the base coat, it’s time to add texture and depth to the illustration.

Use a slightly darker shade of brown to add more color to the cheetah’s body, focusing on areas where shadows would naturally occur, like under the chin, belly, and legs.

Adding Fur Texture and Highlights

One of the defining characteristics of cheetahs is their fur, so it’s important to add texture to your illustration to make it look more realistic. To add texture, use a fine-tipped pencil to create short, curved lines following the direction of the fur.

Use a lighter shade of brown to add highlights to the fur, giving it a more three-dimensional look.

Adding Facial Details and Spots

The facial features of the cheetah are what really give your illustration character. Start by adding some shading under the eyes and around the nose to make these features stand out.

Use a darker shade of brown for the nose and whiskers. The spots are another important feature of the cheetah.

Use a fine-tipped pencil to add detail to the spots, making them irregular and different in size. You can also add highlights to the spots using a lighter shade of brown to make them stand out.

Removing Outlines and Adding Textural Lines

Once you’ve added color and texture to your cheetah illustration, it’s time to add some finishing touches. One way to make your illustration look more realistic is to remove the outlines you drew in the earlier steps.

Use a pencil eraser or a blending tool to soften the lines, making them less prominent. To add even more texture to your illustration, use a fine-tipped pencil to add some textural lines to the fur.

These lines should follow the direction of the fur and be short and curved to mimic the look of real fur. Adding a Glint to the Cheetah’s Eye

To finish off your cheetah illustration, add a glint to the eye to make it look more alive.

Use a white pencil to draw a small, curved line near the top of the eye, slightly off-center. This will create the illusion of reflection and make the eye appear more realistic.


Drawing and coloring a cheetah can be a fun and rewarding experience for artists of all levels. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you’ll be able to create a stunning illustration that captures the beauty and grace of this amazing animal.

Remember to pay attention to the details, add texture and color, and have fun with it! Happy drawing!

In conclusion, the Cheetah Drawing Tutorial outlined the steps necessary to create a realistic and beautiful illustration of one of nature’s most magnificent creatures. Starting with basic shapes and lines, artists can gradually create a detailed outline before adding texture and color to bring the drawing to life.

By using a light base coat followed by a darker shade to add depth, adding texture to the fur and highlights, and removing outlines and adding textural lines, artists can create an amazing cheetah illustration. The addition of the final glint to the eye adds a realistic touch to the drawing.

The tutorial offers easy-to-follow steps for artists of all levels to create a visually stunning piece of art capturing the elegance and beauty of such an incredible animal. Happy drawing!

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