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
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:
1. How to Draw a Cow’s Body
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.
Cut this rectangle in half.
Cut each half in half again.
Draw an oval in the middle. Don’t worry about it being perfect! This will help us create the correct shape of the chest.
Draw two ovals in the side quarter—one at the bottom (the arm), and one on top (the hips).
Add two smaller ovals to the arm oval—the sternum on the bottom and the shoulder on top.
Add the curve of the shoulder blade.
Connect it to the arm.
Go to the hips now. Draw two smaller ovals to mark their tips.
The sacrum should be slightly elevated.
Attach the tail to the sacrum.
Outline the shape of the torso. Don’t press hard yet!
Let’s add the udder under the hips.
2. How to Draw a Cow’s Head
To create the correct proportions for the neck, draw it as a triangle coming from the shoulder.
Attach an oval to the tip of this triangle.
Draw a “head cross” in perspective. It’s created by a line coming along the whole head, and an eyebrow line.
Add an oval for the muzzle.
Add the oval cheeks.
Draw an area for the eyes. Keep it in perspective!
Draw the top of the muzzle.
Add the nostrils.
Add the ears.
Place a narrow oval on top of the head, to create a space for the horns.
Sketch the curve of the horns.
Draw a “coil” around these curves, to better see their 3D form.
Outline the form of the horns.
Add the oval eyes.
Add some bone around the eyes.
Draw the mouth.
Add the details to the mouth: the nose and the lip corner.
Finally, outline the neck and adjust the shape of the ear.
3. How to Draw Cow’s Legs
Draw a vertical line slightly shorter than the height of the torso. Then draw a horizontal line under it.
Sketch the curve of the front and hind limbs.
To make the pose more interesting, we can shift the perspective a little. Draw another ground line slightly above the other.
Sketch the curve of another pair of limbs.
Mark the “wrists” and ankles.
Mark the top of the hooves.
Draw a circle on top of each hoof.
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.
Add the knee and the top of the forearm.
Finish the hooves.
Add the thigh mass.
Add the muscle mass to the forearm and the calves.
Outline the shape of the limbs.
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.
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.
Add some value to the darker elements: the horns, the eyes, the nose, and the hooves. Sketch the outline of the pattern.
Gently shade the cow to create an illusion of depth.
Darken the pattern by filling it with some hatching.
Adjust the contrast of the whole drawing by adding more dark shades. You can also darken the main outline of the body.
That’s a beautiful cow! If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also be interested in these:
AnimalsHow to Draw a PuppyMonika Zagrobelna
DrawingHow to Draw a PigMonika Zagrobelna
AnimalsHow to Draw a TigerMonika Zagrobelna
Or maybe you need some cow related resources for your project? You should check out what ThemeKeeper Elements has to offer!