Art History Lab

Unleash Your Creativity: How to Draw a Realistic Wildebeest

How to Draw a Wildebeest: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Drawing animals can be a great way to unleash your creativity and imagination. The wildebeest, also known as the gnu, is a fascinating animal found in Africa.

With its majestic horns and distinctive snout, the wildebeest is a challenging and exciting subject to draw. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of drawing a wildebeest.

We will cover everything from constructing the shape to adding details and coloring. So grab your pencils and lets get started!

Constructing the Shape of the Wildebeest Drawing

Drawing the shape of the wildebeest is the first step in creating a realistic drawing. To begin, gather your drawing supplies, including a sketchbook, pencil, eraser, and reference photos of wildebeests.

Then follow these steps:

Creating the Main Body Shape

The wildebeest has a large, stocky body. To draw it, start by sketching a large oval shape for the body.

Then add a smaller circle at one end of the oval for the head. Divide the body into three sections – the torso, hindquarters, and legs.

The torso should be the largest part, followed by the hindquarters and legs. Next, draw the legs as straight lines, making sure to indicate the joints.

Finally, add hooves at the bottom of each leg.

Outlining the Head of Your Wildebeest Drawing

The head of the wildebeest is distinct with a long snout and curved horns. To draw the head, start by sketching two horns on either side of the head.

The horns should curve upwards and backwards and taper towards the end. Next, draw the snout.

The wildebeest has a broad, flattened snout. Then add two small ears on either side of the head.

Finally, add the eyes and nose.

Adding Details and Coloring to the Wildebeest Drawing

Once you have created the basic shape of the wildebeest, it is time to add details and color. This is where the drawing comes to life.

Shaping the Ears

The ears of the wildebeest are a crucial part of its body. To draw them, start with a small curve at the base of the ear and draw a curved line up to the top of the ear.

Then connect the top to the bottom with a curved line. Finally, add the fur texture to the ears by using a series of short, curved strokes.

Creating the Shape of the Wildebeest’s Tail

The wildebeest’s tail is long and thin, with a tuft of hair at the end. To draw it, start with a thin, curved line extending from the hindquarters.

Then add a tuft of hair at the end by making several short, curved lines. When adding color to your drawing, make sure to use shades of brown and gray to create a realistic effect.

Pay attention to the lighting in your reference photo and add shadows and highlights to your drawing accordingly.


Drawing a wildebeest can seem daunting at first, but with practice and patience, anyone can create a realistic and beautiful drawing. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to create a stunning drawing that captures the essence of this fascinating animal.

Remember to take your time, work methodically, and most importantly, have fun!

Texturing and Shading the Wildebeest Drawing

Creating a realistic wildebeest drawing requires adding texture and shading to the different parts of its body. Texturing and shading bring depth and dimension to your drawing, making it appear more realistic and three-dimensional.

In this section, we will discuss the techniques to add texture and shade to your wildebeest drawing.

Creating Texture

The wildebeest has a unique body texture that gives it a distinct appearance. The fur on a wildebeest’s body is coarse and short, with some areas having a more wiry appearance.

To achieve this texture, use your pencil to create short, thin lines in the direction of the fur. The lines should be spaced close together to create the appearance of hair.

To create a more wiry texture, use your pencil to draw short, spiky lines in clusters. This can be done in certain areas like the mane, tail, and beard.

Take your time and work slowly, gradually building up the texture to create a realistic appearance.

Applying the Final Shading

Shading is an essential part of creating depth and contrast in your drawing. The right shading can make your wildebeest drawing appear more realistic and lifelike.

The key to shading is to understand the source of light in your reference photo. To begin, identify the areas of your wildebeest drawing that would naturally be in shadow.

This could include the areas underneath the body, legs, and head. Use your pencil to create short, light strokes to start building up the shading.

Gradually increase the pressure to create darker areas. Next, add shading to the fur.

The same technique used to create texture can be used to add shading to the fur. Use short, light strokes to shade the lighter areas and gradually increase the pressure to create darker areas.

When shading, use the side of your pencil to create a soft transition between the tones. This technique is called blending, and it creates a smooth transition between light and dark areas.

Finally, step back from your drawing to assess the overall shading and make any necessary adjustments.

Completing the Wildebeest Drawing

Once you have added texture and shading to your wildebeest drawing, it is time to add the final details and complete the drawing.

Adding Highlights to Your Wildebeest Drawing

Highlights are a critical part of creating contrast in your drawing. Highlights are areas where light is reflected, giving the drawing a more realistic appearance.

To add highlights, use an eraser to lighten areas of the drawing where light would naturally hit. For example, on the horns, use the eraser to create a bright spot at the tip where the light would reflect.

On the eyes, use the eraser to create a bright spot on the pupil to give the eyes a more lifelike appearance.

Finishing Your Wildebeest Drawing

The final step in completing your wildebeest drawing is to make sure all the details are in place. Check for any missing details and add them where necessary.

Make sure the shading is consistent throughout the drawing. If necessary, use your eraser to clean up any smudges or unwanted marks.

Once you are satisfied with the overall appearance of your wildebeest drawing, sign and date it. This adds a personal touch and marks the completion of your artistic creation.


Drawing a wildebeest requires patience, attention to detail, and a passion for art. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a stunning wildebeest drawing that captures the spirit and beauty of this majestic animal.

Remember to take your time, practice regularly, and most importantly, have fun!

In this comprehensive guide on how to draw a wildebeest, we covered the steps necessary to create a realistic and beautiful drawing. From constructing the shape to adding texture and shading, we outlined the techniques needed to bring your artwork to life.

By following the tips and techniques described in this article, anyone can create a stunning wildebeest drawing. The key is to be patient, take your time, and work methodically.

Remember to have fun and let your passion for art drive your creativity.

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