How to draw a lion (with pictures)

How to draw a lion (with pictures)
How to draw a lion (with pictures)

Lions are excellent subjects for drawing. They can be fierce, expressive and proud or simple, cute and cartoonish. To create a beautiful lion design, you just need to follow certain steps to give it realistic structure and proportions. Then define the outline and add details, such as a bushy mane. To make a cartoon lion, exaggerate its head and add facial features you like to it. Put on some color to make it stand out.


Method 1 of 2: Draw a realistic lion

Draw a Lion Step 1

Step 1. Draw two circles for the lion's body

Draw a large circle the size you want for the torso. Leave a space of at least half of the large circle and draw another circle on the left. This will be the rear of the lion, which should be about three-quarters the size of the great circle.

Draw the guide circles without pressing too much so you can easily erase them later

Draw a Lion Step 2

Step 2. Draw an egg above the circles for the head

Position the widest part of the egg on top of the large circle and leave the space you want to draw the neck later. Next, draw the guide lines for the face. Draw a vertical and horizontal line without pressing across the head. Then draw a small curved line in the top quadrant, this will be the ear.

  • The top quadrant is the highest quarter in the widest part of the head.
  • Tighten the egg shape down to make the muzzle.
  • If you feel comfortable drawing the facial features, you don't need the guide lines.
Draw a Lion Step 3

Step 3. Draw three angled lines on the circles for the legs

Make two parallel lines coming out of the smaller circle. Draw them by making them protrude from the left and from the right. For the front leg, draw a line that curves slightly to the right.

It is not necessary to draw four lines, as one of the lion's paws will be hidden by the paw next to it

Draw a Lion Step 4

Step 4. Connect the three circles and make a small circle for the tail

To make the outline start to look like a lion, draw a line that connects the top of the circles to the head. To make it more realistic, make a line that goes down towards the torso. Then draw one that crosses the bottom of the circles and goes up to the right. Connect this line to the narrower end of the head. For the tail, draw a line that comes out of the small circle and takes an S-shape.

You now have the basic outline of your lion

Draw a Lion Step 5

Step 5. Draw a detailed eye and a triangular nose

Add these details in the quadrant at the bottom right of the head. For the eye, draw a small, slightly curved triangle halfway above the horizontal line. Put a dot in the middle for the pupil. For the nose, draw an upside-down triangle on the narrow part of the head.

You can give more or less detail to the eye and nose, it's up to you

Draw a Lion Step 6

Step 6. Create the muzzle and whiskers

Draw a line from the bottom of the nose and curl it toward the bottom left quadrant of the head. Then make several dots just under the nose and draw four to five light whiskers that go in the opposite direction to the nose.


to make the lion's chin look more realistic, extend the space under the muzzle a bit so that it is more pointed than round.

Draw a Lion Step 7

Step 7. Define the shape of the head and the ear

Go over the ear with quick, light pencil strokes to create hair. Then, iron the top of the head with light lines so that it looks narrower between the eye and the nose.

It might be helpful at this point to find a lion photo to find out what details to draw

Draw a Lion Step 8

Step 8. Add a mane for a male lion

Since the mane surrounds the head and covers the back, you can draw small pencil strokes that look like hairs running from the top of the head to the edge of the large circle. The mane should cover the entire contour of the lion's face and fall to its torso. Draw a rough line that connects the mane from the back of the back to the front of the torso.

  • If you are drawing a lioness, skip this step.
  • Think about how the hairs fall all around her face and draw some on the top pointing upwards before flowing down to the sides. The hairs towards the bottom of the mane should remain vertical, as they hang downwards.
Draw a Lion Step 9

Step 9. Draw the legs with hair

To make a paw, draw two parallel lines on opposite sides of the paw guide lines. The legs should be wider when approaching the torso and narrower when approaching the foot. Draw three semicircles on a horizontal line at the base of the paw for the foot. Then go over it again and draw short, light lines that look like hairs sticking out of the paws.

Remember that one of the front legs won't be visible, that's why you don't have to draw it

Draw a Lion Step 10

Step 10. Define the shape of the body and add a bushy outline

Go back to your drawing and add short lines towards the end of the tail to give the impression of hair. If you prefer to make your lion look like a statue, bring the bottom line that connects the circles to the smaller circle up before you drop it down to the larger circle.

You can erase the guide lines and circles after you have completed this step or you can leave them to make your lion look like a sketch

Draw a Lion Step 11

Step 11. Now admire your lion

Method 2 of 2: Draw a cartoon lion

Draw a Lion Step 11

Step 1. Draw a circle for the head and two semicircles for the ears

Draw a circle the size you want for the head. Next, draw a semicircle on top of the circle, offset on one side. Make another semicircle on the other side. These will be the ears.


if you have trouble drawing the semicircles, draw a small circle where you want to put each ear. Then erase the bottom half of each circle so that you only leave a half circle on each side of the head.

Draw a Lion Step 12

Step 2. Draw a triangular nose in the middle of the face

Since you are making a cartoon character, you can exaggerate the size of the nose. Draw a horizontal line down the center of the circle the length you want. To make this nose in the shape of a triangle, draw a V sticking out from one end of the line.

You can keep the end of the triangle pointed or round to make the nose look smoother

Draw a Lion Step 13

Step 3. Draw a curved mouth from the nose

Place the pencil or pen on the lower point of the triangle and draw a curved line in the shape of a semicircle at the bottom of the straight line. The curved line should go up on both sides.

These two lines going up will give the impression that the lion is smiling

Draw a Lion Step 14

Step 4. Make three long lines on the sides for the whiskers

To make your lion look whimsical, you can add two or three horizontal lines on either side of the face. You can make them any length you want.

If you draw a lioness, you don't have to make a mustache and you can just dot above the mouth

Draw a Lion Step 15

Step 5. Draw two round eyes in the top half of the head

Decide what size you want for the eyes and make two circles halfway between the nose and the top of the head. Leave a space equal to the width of one eye between the two eyes. Shade both eyes, but leave two small bright dots to make the pupils.

Give them the expression you want. You could draw simple circles or add eyebrows and eyelashes, for example

Draw a Lion Step 16

Step 6. Add a bushy mane for a lion

Draw a broken line all around the lion's head. For a large mane, you can leave a large space between the mane and the head.

Skip this step if you are drawing a lioness

Draw a Lion Step 17

Step 7. Draw the legs to represent him sitting

Draw two lines from the back of the mane that curl down to the middle. Make two feet at the bottom and bring the lines up to finish the legs. Next, draw two taller legs that protrude from the sides of the lion to make it appear as if it is seated.

  • Remember that you are not going to see most of his body in this position,
  • For the feet, draw three semicircles on a line.
Draw a Lion Step 18

Step 8. Make a tail that protrudes from one side

Draw a thin line that starts from the hind leg and curves upwards. Draw another parallel line so the tail looks three-dimensional. Then add a bushy circle at the end of the tail.

If you prefer, you can draw a curved tail resting on the ground in front of the lion

Draw a Lion Step 20

Step 9. Add little details and you're done


  • Go back over the lion when you are done to erase any guide lines that might be visible.
  • You can color your lion. Use colored pencils or fine point markers.
  • To make the lion look more realistic, add shadows and a shadow below.

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