How to Draw a Realistic Koala

Artist: JTM93 / August 11, 2013
How to Draw a Realistic Koala

Step 1.


Begin by drawing two circles - a large circle to form the koala’s abdomen and a smaller circle (about half the diameter of the larger one) to form the head. These two circles should be separated as shown. Draw the outline of the arm arcing off the    

Step 2.


Lightly draw a line through the middle of the top circle to help set out the facial features. The line should be at a slant (around 30 degrees). In the middle of the lower half of the now bisected face, draw a squarish-oval shaped nose. This should b   

Step 3.


Erase the guideline through the center of the head and segments of the circle guidelines as shown. Add ears, but make the outlines sketchy as the ears will mostly be defined by hair textures later on. Add a few of the details around the eyes, nose an   

Step 4.


The drawing is all about the koala’s fur. Koalas have a very unusual fur coat that looks very wiry – the hairs do not matte together like other animals and it requires a slightly different technique. It took me a while to figure out the easiest w   

Step 5.


There are two steps here. First, finish shading the base layer of the bottom half of the koala – note that the abdomen region (the region within the large circle from the outline) is much lighter relative to the upper areas. Secondly, start to smoo   

Step 6.


Finish smoothing out the shading in the lower half of the drawing. Then start to draw the fur texture of the face. The hairs on the side of the face are not strongly defined so you don’t have to worry too much about technique – I just shaded in s   

Step 7.


Now we start to draw a slightly more defined hair texture across the face. To do this, you simply have to lightly draw thin, parallel lines in rows that curve across the face. The right cheek (koala’s left cheek) is pretty smoothly shaded and doesn   

Step 8.


In this step I have just added some slightly darker hairs to the top of the head. As you can see, the hair on the center and top of the face is starting to look a little rough so in the subsequent steps I will smooth it out.

Step 9.


When smoothing out hair texture, use cotton pads/tissues or Q-tips as you would with normal shading. The differences are that you want to go with the grain (in the same direction) of the hair and you want to do it very lightly. This is because we don   

Step 10.


The ears require the “traditional” fur drawing technique that most animal furs require. Draw long, wavy hairs with a dark pencil (2B-4B) in a row at the base of the ears and make the hairs slightly different lengths. The hairs towards to top of t   

Step 11.


The outer portions of the ears are a lot lighter and a much thinner hair texture is needed. Make banana-shaped curved hairs grow out of the first half of the ears. The trick is to not go overboard with these hairs – on the koala, the outer ear hair   

Step 12.


Drawing the fur is really simple – you just have to draw short, thin lines in the same direction. The trick is to not arrange them in straight lines. You want to arrange them in jagged rows so that they look well dispersed.

Step 13.


The direction in which you draw the hairs on the koala's body is very important as it is the main way in which the shape of the koala is drawn. This diagram shows what direction the fur around the arrows should be pointing. Refer to it throughout the   

Step 14.


Continue to draw the hair texture around the body. Make sure you keep drawing the hairs in the direction outlines in Step [12]. Note how the hairs around the top of the hind leg are quite dark and how the hairs around the rear of the abdomen are quit   

Step 15.


Keep adding the hair texture. The tones should largely come through the base layer of shading you did at the start of the drawing, but you can darken/lighten the fur tone by make the hairs darker/lighter, or by make the hairs more or less densely pac   

Step 16.


The fur around the bottom of the koala is much smoother and more orderly arranged than that of the rest of the drawing. There are three rows of roughly equal width that arc around the bottom. Note the thin bands of highlights at the bottom of each ro   

Step 17.


Continue to draw the hair and fur details of the hind leg as shown.

Step 18.


This is an important step in which we add some patches of dark hairs throughout the fur. These small patches add some depth the fur coat – up until now, only small hairs have been drawn and it sort of looks like the fur coat isn’t very thick. Koa   

Step 19.


Finally, we now draw the eyes and nose detail. Up until this point, the koala had looked kind of strange with these missing details. They are pretty straightforward to draw – the nose is basically a solid block of shading with a bit of a gradient o   

Step 20.


Now the koala is finished, but we have to draw some of the tree. You don’t want to draw the entire tree as the koala should be the focus of the drawing so I am just going to draw the section of the tree that the koala is hanging off. Start by maki   

Step 21.


To draw the tree texture, start by drawing thin, long lines in the direction of the tree. Then add some outlines of 'blocky', angular chunks of bark and add some darker, thicker lines here and there. Finally, shade over the area, but leave thin segme   

Step 22.


Here you can see that I have added some of the bark detail to the tree texture.

Step 23.


Now I have shaded in the texture. You can see how it isn't uniformly shaded – that is intentional and keeps the texture looking rough and organic.

Step 24.


This step is optional – in the previous step I felt that the tree looked a bit too light, so in this step I added some more shading to the tree texture to reduce most of the highlights. I personally prefer this look, but the look of the tree textur   

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Artist: JTM93
Date Added: August 11, 2013
Steps: 24
Favorited: 10 (view)
Views: 0 in last hour, 14 in last day, 109 in last week, 33527 total
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Tags: how to draw realistic, how to sketch, how to draw koalas
Description: Welcome to this tutorial on how to draw a realistic koala. Koalas are marsupials found in Australia and are quite difficult to draw. In this tutorial I will show you step-by-step the simplest way to draw this animal as well as the techniques you will need. To complete this drawing you need: HB-4B pencils, an eraser and tissues/cotton pads/Q-tips.