Realistic Wolf Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

Imagine a realistic wolf drawing on your wall that's done by you. Here is your chance to learn how to draw a wolf that you can be proud of. So let's get started and use these professional techniques to learn how to draw wolves and other furry animals.

Wolf drawings portray subjects of many different myths and legends This prideful and intelligent animal is a creature that is respected in many ways. I'm sure you found it just as cool when you looked at a picture of a wolf.

The lesson that we will cover here will not only render a wolf, but it should teach you various technical methods of drawing different thickness of fur.

As an artist, you should practice drawing wolves because it is definitely one of the most high in demand subjects out there. Master it well and you will surely catch attention.

Plus, with the lessons you will learn here, you can apply the techniques you will learn here to draw other furry animals. It's a win-win situation. So without ado, let's learn how to draw a wolf together.

Sketching the realistic wolf drawing

The first thing in learning how to draw a wolf is to make sure you get the gesture drawing down. This sketch is to make sure you have the right proportions. That is, study the form of the wolf carefully and simplify the entire form using the most basic shapes.

On a new layer, quickly sketch up the form of the wolf using these basic shapes: circles, triangles, and squares.

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Once you are done that, create a new layer underneath the gesture sketch and fill it with a neutral base tone. Make sure it's a solid shape as you don't want any transparency showing under it. User a brush with 100% pressure to do that.

Then, lock the layer and begin to block in simple shadows and lighting to bring out the limbs and the face. Merge everything together when you are done.

Smudging the realistic wolf drawing

In this step, you are going to learn how to draw a wolf with the smudge brush. Since your layers are now merged together, you can start smudging out the form to create simple gestures of fur.

It's best to use a chalk brush because the uneven shape of a chalk brush will create several strands of with just a few strokes of the smudge tool.

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In terms of directional smudging, smudge in a zigzag manner horizontally and vertically to create bands of tonal variations on the entire animal.

The gesture lines that were in the previous step should help you immensely as it creates additional variations in color as you smudge it in.

Detailing the realistic wolf drawing

There will be two main steps in learning how to draw wolf fur. The first thing to do is to create a section of thick fur that will surround the body.

I like to use a small scatter brush here. With each stroke, you can create multiple strands of very thick fur on your animal. I recommend using a light tone so are painting the fur using negative space rather than painting dark strands of fur.

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The second part would be to switch to a small single pixel brush to fill in the smaller strands of hair one by one. While it may be time consuming, you will make your realistic wolf drawing look that much more realistic.

All the time, make sure you are varying the types of brush strokes. That is, instead of doing straight lines, create swirls of fur. Plus, if the lines are too strong, you can always switch to the smudge brush and smudge in the lines.

Shading the realistic wolf drawing

The final steps in learning how to draw a wolf digitally is to work on adding light and shadows to your drawing.

Using Photoshop, you can paint all your light and shadows on a different layer on top of your wolf object and then convert it to a clipping mask that confines to the wolf object (non destructive editing purposes). Of course, adjust the opacity setting on the clipping mask layer to reveal the details underneath.

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If you are not using Photoshop, then you can just paint right on the wolf object. If you're worried about your details being over ridden, try the dodge and burn tools to gently darken or lighten specific areas.

Anyway, as you are doing this, I recommend using a large round brush and gently glaze over the realistic wolf drawing signifying how the light bounces off the animal. It also blends in the colors very nicely.

I also recommend locking down the layer using 'preserve transparency' so you don't accidentally paint outside of the boundaries of the wolf. After that, continue with adding more details like the eyes, whiskers, paws, etc. until you are proud of what you have done.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson on how to paint a wolf digitally. From different types of strokes, you have learned how to create varying thickness of fur. Let this experience guide you to future projects as you draw animals that are high in demand.