How to Draw a Unicorn in 4 Steps With Photoshop

Would you like to learn how to draw a unicorn? It's not too difficult either because unicorn drawings takes what you know about a realistic animal from nature (horse of goat) and adds a few extra details (horn and long hair) to it to form a drawing of a unicorn.

Unlike a lot of made up animals, unicorns are one of the few creatures that were not created from human fear. Instead, we see these creatures as mysterious, beautiful, and the ability to grant wishes.

Description wise, it is frequently portrayed as a horse with a spiral horn and cleaved hooves. However, depending on your preferences, it can also take the form of a small goat. It will be up the artist to decide.

You should start learning how to draw a unicorn with building up the form. With simple circles and lines, start creating the legs, body, head, etc. Never forget the importance of sketching in the right shapes.

How to draw a unicorn: the main animal

As mentioned, unicorns take the form of a goat or a horse. It's OK to use a reference if you're not familiar with the form of your animal. However, try to deduce all the shapes of your reference.

That way, you can make up your own poses without having to rely on set pictures for references. As you are doing this, also keep track of each muscle groups. Since it is a mammal, you will see familiarizes with the human form.

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Try to match the muscles of the human form to the animal. When you are done your sketch, create another layer underneath it. This time, we are going to fill it with a light grey color at 100% opacity.

Once it is filled, merge the two layers together. That way, you will have a nice base to work from as you create the details like muscles and shading.

How to draw a unicorn: blocking in form

You are not working on the details just yet. This step is to help you see how the form will come to life. Pick a hard chalk brush and start to fill in chunks of muscle here and there along with sections of shadow.

Enable the option to preserve transparency on your unicorn drawing so you will not accidentally block in shapes outside of the object's boundaries.

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The major parts that you can focus on are bringing the shoulder blades, the neck tendons, thighs of the animals, cheeks on the forehead, and the curvature of the stomach.

The whole idea is to rough out the form as much as possible as we are going to smudge the gesture sketch and the blocked in forms to create convincing musculature. Clean up your unicorn and erase out any gesture lines that are out of place.

How to draw a unicorn: adding details

You will still be blocking in more detailed shapes. Use smaller chalk brush sizes to get the desired result. At the same time, you will be using your smudge brush a lot in conjunction with your chalk brushes.

Every time you smudge, point the brush in the direction of your muscles. Do not just arbitrarily smudge in random patterns. For instance, flow with the curvature of the shoulder blades, the stomach, and the neck muscles.

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Keep your layers' transparency option preserved when you work on the details of the horn as well as shading areas of shadow on the belly, underneath the chin, and the opposing limbs.

As for the mane and the tail, smudge it just lightly while repainting the hair strands with a smaller brush. You can disable the transparency options in this case. Lastly, work on fine details like the eyes, nose, and other facial features. Consider a background to place your unicorn.

How to draw a unicorn: unifying the picture

Finish off your background if you decide to do one by using whatever tools you feel comfortable with as we are going to add in a light source to highlight your unicorn drawing.

On a new layer, begin to glaze areas of light and darkness with a round brush. You should set this layer's opacity to around 50% to balance out shadows and lighting with details.

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Constantly sample colors around the areas with your eyedropper tool so you can get colors that match the composition's palette. In some instances, you may need to erase parts of the shading to reveal some details underneath or to further create additional textures.

The important objective here is to look at rim light and how it should highlight your unicorn. Start adding rim light on the outer perimeters of your unicorn to highlight your creature while you continue to refine your global light source.

When you are done, use any other additional tools that can enhance the overall composition like global contrasting filters or simple doge and burn tools for smaller areas.

For example, you can copy the entire picture, merge it all on one layer, and balance out the contrast with your drawing software's internal color management settings to finish off your unicorn drawing. Overall, it is a simple process that will work for drawing a unicorn and other mythical creatures.