How to Draw a Cheetah

In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw a cheetah—the fastest land animal. I will show you how to construct its body step by step: first the torso, then the legs, and finally the head with all its details. You will learn how to draw simplified muscles and paws, and how to draw a cheetah pattern.

How to Draw a Cheetah

This is a simple tutorial for beginners. If you want to learn more about cheetahs and other big cats, try this tutorial instead:

  • How to Draw a Cheetah
    Drawing
    How to Draw Animals: Big Cats, Their Anatomy and Patterns
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

1. How to Draw a Cheetah’s Body

Step 1

Sketch an oval—this will be the chest. Remember to draw these guide lines lightly, so that they can be covered (or even erased) later with the final lines.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 2

Add a circle at the back, connecting it to the chest with a curve. This will be the hip area. Leave some space between the chest and the hips.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 3

Add a “6” in the front. This will be the shoulder.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 4

Add a curve to the tip of this “6”, creating the top of the shoulder blade.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 5

Outline the shoulder.

How to Draw a CheetahHow to Draw a Cheetah

Step 6

Add an oval for the hips.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 7

Outline the body.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 8

Add the curve of the tail. It should be quite long.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 9

To create the right thickness, you can draw circles along the tail.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 10

Outline the tail.

How to Draw a Cheetah

2. How to Draw a Cheetah’s Legs

Step 1

To measure the right distance to the ground, draw a line the same height as the chest right under it, and then add some more length. You don’t need to use a ruler—just eyeball it.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 2

Sketch the rhythm of the legs.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 3

Mark the wrist and the knee.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 4

To create a slightly more interesting perspective without making it too complicated, let’s put the other pair of legs a little higher. This will add a sense of depth.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 5

Draw the other pair of legs, using a different pose for them to make the drawing more dynamic. Use the first pair of legs to place the joints.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 6

Don’t forget to add a shoulder for the other front leg, too!

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 7

Add details to the joints: the wrists and ankles.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 8

Add some muscle masses to give volume to the legs.

How to Draw a CheetahHow to Draw a Cheetah

Step 9

Add the elbows and the knees.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 10

Add the calf muscles.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 11

Sketch the outline of the feet.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 12

Draw the middle toe on each paw. Add a dew claw (“a cat thumb”) and the carpal pads, too.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 13

Add the outer toes now, sloped in the opposite direction.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 14

Add the tips of the toes—little reversed ‘6’s.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 15

Add the paw pads where they are visible.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 16

Outline the rest of the legs.

How to Draw a Cheetah

3. How to Draw a Cheetah’s Head

Step 1

Draw a triangular neck. It shouldn’t be too long—you can refer to the length of the shoulder blade to measure it.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 2

Add an oval for the head. Again, not too big—cheetahs have very small heads in comparison to their bodies!

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 3

Add a “face cross”—one line going along the muzzle and the forehead, and the other going over the eyes. This will give us a point of reference for the other elements of the head. While drawing this cross, pay attention to perspective!

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 4

Draw big “eye sockets”. This again helps us place the eyes correctly, without actually drawing them yet.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 5

Add the cheeks.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 6

Add the muzzle in the shape of a sack.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 7

Draw the chin and connect it to the rest of the head.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 8

Draw the area of the nose, turning towards the eyes.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 9

Add the actual nose in this area. Imagine it three-dimensionally.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 10

You can now draw the area for the eyes.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 11

Draw the ears in the shape of flower petals.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 12

Connect these petals to the head.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 13

Draw the mouth.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 14

Draw the nose.

How to Draw a CheetahHow to Draw a Cheetah

Step 15

If you draw lines on the sides of the nasal bridge, you’ll go right to the “eyebrows”.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 16

Draw the lips.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 17

Draw the actual eyes now.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 18

Draw the eyelids that give the eyes their shape, as well as the marking going towards the lips.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 19

Finally, outline the whole neck.

How to Draw a Cheetah

4. How to Finish the Drawing of a Cheetah

Step 1

The guide lines are finished, and you can draw the final lines now. Feel free to erase the sketch lightly to make it barely visible, or put a new sheet of paper over it.

Outline the body, using soft, non-continuous lines to simulate fur.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 2

Draw the paws with all the details. Unlike other cats, cheetahs have only semi-retractable claws, which means they’re partially visible all the time.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 3

Add details to the head. The whiskers should be quite short.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 4

Darken the nose, the marking, and the ears. Shade the eyes, too.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 5

Shade the whole body in a simple way.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 6

Time for the spots! Cheetahs have a very simple pattern: just circles and ovals all over the body. Plan them first.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 7

Darken these spots.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 8

There are smaller spots between the bigger ones. Add them.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Step 9

Finally, add some shadows below the legs and a dark outline for the whole cheetah.

How to Draw a Cheetah

Good Job!

Now you know how to draw a cheetah! Do you want to learn how to draw other big cats? Try these tutorials:

  • How to Draw a Cheetah
    Animals
    How to Draw a Tiger
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

  • How to Draw a Cheetah
    Animals
    How to Draw a Roaring Lion Step by Step
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

  • How to Draw a Cheetah
    Drawing
    How to Draw Animals: Big Cats, Their Anatomy and Patterns – Part 2
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

How to Draw a Cheetah