How to Draw a Cow

Do you want to learn how to draw a realistic cow? In this tutorial I will lead you through the process, explaining every little step in detail. I will show you how to achieve correct proportions and anatomy using simple shapes. No matter if you’re a pro or a beginner, you’ll have a lot of fun following this tutorial!

How to Draw a Cow

How to Draw a Cow
This is a simple tutorial about drawing a cow step by step. If you’re interested in something more advanced (drawing various bovines like bison, cape buffalo, and yak, their anatomy and details), check out this one instead:

  • How to Draw a Cow
    Animal Anatomy
    How to Draw Animals: Cows and Other Bovines
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

1. How to Draw a Cow’s Body

Step 1

Draw a long rectangle. Don’t use a ruler—it should be just a sketch! Don’t press too hard either—these lines should be barely visible. This will be a “bounding box” for the torso of our cow.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 2

Cut this rectangle in half.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 3

Cut each half in half again.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 4

Draw an oval in the middle. Don’t worry about it being perfect! This will help us create the correct shape of the chest.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 5

Draw two ovals in the side quarter—one at the bottom (the arm), and one on top (the hips).

How to Draw a Cow

Step 6

Add two smaller ovals to the arm oval—the sternum on the bottom and the shoulder on top.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 7

Add the curve of the shoulder blade.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 8

Connect it to the arm.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 9

Go to the hips now. Draw two smaller ovals to mark their tips.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 10

The sacrum should be slightly elevated.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 11

Attach the tail to the sacrum.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 12

Outline the shape of the torso. Don’t press hard yet!

How to Draw a Cow

Step 13

Let’s add the udder under the hips.

How to Draw a CowHow to Draw a Cow

2. How to Draw a Cow’s Head

Step 1

To create the correct proportions for the neck, draw it as a triangle coming from the shoulder.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 2

Attach an oval to the tip of this triangle.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 3

Draw a “head cross” in perspective. It’s created by a line coming along the whole head, and an eyebrow line.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 4

Add an oval for the muzzle.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 5

Add the oval cheeks.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 6

Draw an area for the eyes. Keep it in perspective!

How to Draw a Cow

Step 7

Draw the top of the muzzle.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 8

Add the nostrils.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 9

Add the ears.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 10

Place a narrow oval on top of the head, to create a space for the horns.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 11

Sketch the curve of the horns.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 12

Draw a “coil” around these curves, to better see their 3D form.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 13

Outline the form of the horns.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 14

Add the oval eyes.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 15

Add some bone around the eyes.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 16

Draw the mouth.

How to Draw a CowHow to Draw a Cow

Step 17

Add the details to the mouth: the nose and the lip corner.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 18

Finally, outline the neck and adjust the shape of the ear.

How to Draw a Cow

3. How to Draw Cow’s Legs

Step 1

Draw a vertical line slightly shorter than the height of the torso. Then draw a horizontal line under it.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 2

Sketch the curve of the front and hind limbs.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 3

To make the pose more interesting, we can shift the perspective a little. Draw another ground line slightly above the other.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 4

Sketch the curve of another pair of limbs.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 5

Mark the “wrists” and ankles.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 6

Mark the top of the hooves.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 7

Draw a circle on top of each hoof.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 8

The joints in legs are quite complex and there’s not much muscles on them that could conceal their shape, so pay special attention to them.

How to Draw a CowHow to Draw a Cow

Step 9

Add the knee and the top of the forearm.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 10

Finish the hooves.

How to Draw a CowHow to Draw a CowHow to Draw a CowHow to Draw a Cow

Step 11

Add the thigh mass.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 12

Add the muscle mass to the forearm and the calves.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 13

Outline the shape of the limbs.

How to Draw a Cow

4. How to Finish a Drawing of a Cow

We’re going to finish the drawing now, so feel free to press harder to create the final lines. You can also put a new sheet of paper over the sketch to draw the final lines separately.

Step 1

Draw all the details suggested by the guide lines. If you need help, you can use the muscle diagram from How to Draw Animals: Cows and Other Bovines.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 2

Add some value to the darker elements: the horns, the eyes, the nose, and the hooves. Sketch the outline of the pattern.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 3

Gently shade the cow to create an illusion of depth.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 4

Darken the pattern by filling it with some hatching.

How to Draw a Cow

Step 5

Adjust the contrast of the whole drawing by adding more dark shades. You can also darken the main outline of the body.

How to Draw a Cow

Good Job!

That’s a beautiful cow! If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also be interested in these:

  • How to Draw a Cow
    Animals
    How to Draw a Puppy
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

  • How to Draw a Cow
    Drawing
    How to Draw a Pig
    Monika Zagrobelna

     

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

     

Or maybe you need some cow related resources for your project? You should check out what ThemeKeeper Elements has to offer!

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How to Draw a CowHow to Draw a Cow