Tiger Cub Taking a Break

19 November 2008
Support by Sharing

As you may have already noticed from my other drawings, i enjoy drawing big cats. These animals are so beautiful and powerful. From all the big cats, my favorite is the tiger. There is no animal out there that can match it in beauty and power, in my opinion. This little is now part of my collection and even though it may look cute and cuddly now, within a few months it will have no problem devouring a person. You can read below a bit about the process for creating this drawing.


Well this is a new pencil drawing drawing that i just started. I actually have several drawings going at the same time and hopefully will have them all done soon. This one will measure 5″x7″ and will be of a tiger cub. Like with all my drawings, i usually start off on the eyes and work my way out. I find that working this way allows me to compare the eyes with the rest of the drawing. By getting the eyes right im able to compare them with the rest of the drawing so that the rest of the drawing can flow equally and will not lack any details. The eyes are the most important part of any drawing and getting them right is very important if you want your drawings to have life. Figure 1.

Well here is a small update on the drawing. I have worked a bit more on the face. Im adding the texture of the hair with the needle stylus. Its a tedious process because there are some fine hairs and the drawing is not as large as my other ones. I usually indent and then run the pencil over the lines to reveal the hair. Its going to take me a while to complete this drawing, but its a process that gives me great results. I have also lightly outlined the whiskers with a 2b pencil so i can later indent over those lines and be able to easily erase the lines. Not a big update but hopefully you can begin to see what the drawing will look like. Figure 2.

Update: 11/21/2008-

I now have a better understanding of how i want the hair texture to look on this tiger. I have began to add fine detail to the fur on the face. Its very hard to draw the actual hairs on the nose because they are so short so my goal was to add the right texture to give the illusion of fuzzy hair. This can only be done by understanding what im drawing. Im using several reference photos, and most of them are from regular house cats. Its amazing how much detail you can see from these photographs. I’m not drawing the actual house cat but using the textures and hair detail from them. I have darkened the areas that will suggest shadows to give the drawing much more depth. I will now be moving to the right and will now begin the right and will begin to add the long hair that is on the side of the face. I have decided to add much more detail than usual to all my drawings from now on. Yes, it was a decision and the only way to do this is to be more patient and take my time on each section. There are times that i just want to finish a drawing and get it over with, but then i remember that the results depend on the time dedicated. You can now begin to see the mood of this drawing. This drawing will also have wood textures, but i have a long way before i get to that part.Figure 3.

Tigers are one of the most beautiful animals on this planet and its mainly because of their physical beauty. Drawing them can be challenge because of all the detail, especially the dark bands. If not done correctly they will look unnatural and will not flow with the rest of the drawing. As you can see in this update i have got a bit more of detail on the face and will almost finish the right side of the face. I will then move up to start working on the ear. This section will have longer hair from the rest of the face and will give the drawing another level of depth. I enjoy drawing hair because it challenges me to find ways get as much realism as possible but still keep the feeling that its drawing when you study it up close. There is lots of indenting in this drawing, mostly on the hair. If you don’t know what im talking about you can check out my tutorial on how to use this technique here. I have been developing this technique for quite some time now and it has helped be add a level of realism that separates my drawings from others. It also gives the drawing some texture which i love to incorporate in all my work. This pencil drawing seems to be moving along quite well and hope to have it done soon. Well if you have any questions, just leave a comment.Figure 4.

Update: 11/26/2008-

I have completed almost the whole head. There are a couple of fine details that i would like to add to give the hair much more realism. Im using different pencils for this drawing, I have always used mechanical pencils for really fine detail because of the fine lead that they have. Recently i bought a couple of
2mm lead pointer
to give them a try. Now i just can’t see myself going back to using mechanical pencils. These pencils are great they are like mechanical pencils but hold
2mm leads
. I also purchased a 2mm lead pointer which is basically a sharpener for these pencils. The thing that i like about these pencils is that they are durable and when you sharpen the lead, it leaves a really pointy tip which is amazing for really fine details. As you can see from the image in this update i was able to add so much detail on the hair using these pencils. As a addict of detail, these pencils are what i need to fulfill my goal of giving hair as much realism as possible in my pencil drawings. Whats even better is that when i use it with my indenting technique it allows me to add super fine hairs because of the fine point. Its unbelievable how much control you can get from these pencils.
Texture is a big part of all my drawings and this one is no exception. I was able to achieve the texture on the hair by adding the right highlights and shadows over the indented lines. Knowing where to add these details will come naturally as you understand how hair flows and behaves. As you are drawing you will naturally see hair patterns and hair clumps. The more you understand it the easier it will be. This is also true for any other texture that i draw, i first study it and try my best to understand how it flows. From here on i will begin to move my way down to the front legs. Its hard for you to tell what pose the tiger has at this stage, but i think on the next update you’ll get a better idea of what it will look like.Figure 5.

The head is about 85% complete and just needs subtle details that i want to add like highlights. These details will add a bit more realism and texture to the hair. For the amount of detail that im putting into this drawing its progressing quite fast. I’m in no way rushing to finish because i want to get as much detail as possible. i guess that from drawing so many animals its now easier to add the desired detail without having to think to much about it. As you may have noticed i have started working on one leg. This is a basic outline of what the hair will look like. I work in layers, this being the first one. I develop the outline of hair clumps and slowly build on it by adding shadows. If i want to add more hair clumps i use a kneaded eraser to remove pencil. Hair clumps are just hairs that come together and for exactly that reason i call them clumps. Most people don’t realize this and just try to draw hair. These small details and being able to put them on paper is what gives a drawing much more realism. What i have so far seems to be light but will darken as i add more layers of detail. Up to now the whole drawing hasn’t been too difficult, just time consuming. Once i complete the tiger i will move on to the log that the tiger cub is resting on. That will be a totally different type of texture and it should be interesting. Within the next couple of updates you should begin to see the complete pose. Well if have any questions please contact me.Figure 6.

I have started developing the next layer for the leg. As you can see from the previous update, there is a big difference in texture and values. The process is pretty tedious, i look for hair clumps of hair that i can outline. This won’t work unless you know how to add the indentations correctly. Knowing the flow of hair and understanding that hair is not straight will help using this technique. Hair curves and flows in different directions. Once you have the indentations its all about finding the right areas. This will come with practice and has taken me a while to understand this technique, but its a great way to add realism to hair. Once i finish this leg i will move to the other and when that one is finished i will start on the tree bark. So far im really happy with the results and hopefully it will move along smoothly.Figure 7.

One leg is finished and will now be moving to the next one. I wanted to get some good texture on the leg to get a real feeling of a soft large paw. I was able to do this by layering the detail. On my previous update i had a rough outline of the fine detail and i just kept building on that. A good way to add depth is to add the illusion of overlapping hair. At the beginning i mentioned that i usually start from the middle and work my way out. You may be wondering why i started on the leg from the bottom up. Well, the reason is that hair overlaps and in the hair on the leg runs down. So that means that the hair at the bottom is overlapped by the hair on the top. I started indenting from this section and moved my way up, This gave the illusion of overlapping hair and just kept adding detail from there. These little things can help drawings look so much better and will give them more realism. Notice also that the hair doesn’t flow in one direction. It flows in differently and as i have mentioned before hair curls. I will start to work on the next leg and once that is done i will start adding the basic details for the tree bark.Figure 8.

The tiger is basically complete. I will add here and there some subtle details but overall its finished. As you can see i have started adding some details to the tree trunk. This will be a totally different texture that will compliment the tiger. This area will be much darker than the tiger which will make the tiger jump out. Just like textures, i also enjoy adding contrast to my drawings. Contrast makes a drawing much more dramatic. This section of the drawing will take me a while to complete because the texture is much different than hair so i will be using a different technique. Using the kneaded eraser i will be adding the highlights and with a 4b pencil i will add the cracks on the wood.Figure 9.

After spending hours studying and doodling tree bark and its texture i started to add the fine details to the tree. Tree bark has so much texture so i wanted to make it as random as possible and make it look natural. The reason that i like to use Bristol Vellum
is because of the slight tooth that it has. This was helpful in achieving the texture that i was looking for. The whole process started by randomly running my 8b pencil over an area and this created a rough outline of tree bark. Since the paper is a bit rough it catches the pencil in some areas and not in others, so all i had to do was outline some patterns which made up the tree texture. Again, this can only be done by first understanding what you are drawing and it will make things so much easier when looking for those hidden details that need to be revealed. This was the process that i have used and will continue to use on the rest of the tree. I have also used the Kneaded Eraser
to reveal some highlights on the tree textures, giving it some depth.Figure 10.

I have finished the left side of the tree and will not move to the right side and begin to add texture to that side. This texture has taken me a bit long to complete because of the complexity. There are grooves and raised areas that make up wood bark. I’m using several reference photos and i have even gone to my backyard to take a couple of pictures of a tree that i have back there. The more i understand the texture the easier it will be to achieve. Well i hope this will be the last update before i put up the final drawing.Figure 11.

Well i finally finished it and im really happy with the results. The only part that was left for me to do from the previous update were the tree trunks. These sections where done differently than the tiger since they have totally different textures. I wanted to the wood to have a rough feel to it so i didn’t blend much and if you look at the drawing up close you will see how rough these areas are. The area is much darker which makes the tiger cub jump out much more. I enjoy adding contrast to my drawings and this one was no exception. The branches in the background were deliberately made to look blurry not only for effect but to also keep the feel of a pencil drawing. Even though this drawing is only 5×7, it has much more detail than some of my larger drawings that i have done. It has been a long project but it has been worth it. I learned so much from this drawing and hopefully this knowledge will help in future drawings. Well thanks for all the support and for everyone that followed this one. If you have any questions please leave a comment.Finished Drawing

Write a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent comments

  • Anju 9 years ago

    Your sketches are unbelievable! Pencil art takes so much skill! Love them!

  • 623 10 years ago

    you are one of my new inspiration
    thanks for sharing
    i dream of my some day works will be alive!

  • Jenna 10 years ago

    Dude! You have a gift! Thanks sooooo much for sharing it with the whole world. I’l definatly give this site to all my art loving friends. ROCK ON!

  • onlypencil 10 years ago

    thank you so much. The best advice i can give you is that if you love to draw, keep practicing and do it for the love of drawing.

  • Amandah 10 years ago

    i strive to be able to draw as good as you. Your talent is so incredible and amazing. thank you for inspiring me

  • Susan Barwell 11 years ago

    That is amazing -what a talent and for you to not only share but to expain is awesome
    You are my inspiration Thank you

  • joyfulcrow 11 years ago

    Wow, I know its skill and talent, but this also proves Magic happens. Unbelievable work.

  • Slavica 11 years ago

    I'm speechless……… Geniously ,man…….keep up the AMAZING work.