how to draw a sloth

In this lesson, you will learn how to draw a sloth made from simple shapes and colors. Then, I will show you how to add basic gradient colors and shadows to enhance this illustration. Sloths are unique animals. Often depicted as being lazy and slow, these cute wild animals are quite fun to illustrate. Drawn in a bizarre posture, they offer something unique compared to common creatures like dogs, cats or turtles. Ready? Let's learn how to create a sloth in just a few basic steps ...

How to draw a sloth

drawing a few basic shapes

First, we need to add a few basic shapes to form the posture of the character. You can use a circle to illustrate the head and draw an oval shape to form the body. Both legs are made from short rectangles. Once you are done, you can proceed with the next step.

How to draw a sloth

drawing the animal using curved lines

It's now time to draw this cartoon sloth using curved lines. You can draw a few hair on the back and on top of the head. Legs that are visible behind the character are also made from short curved lines. Once you are finished, you can remove the shapes added in the previous step.

How to draw a sloth

adding more details in the drawing

Inside the head, you can draw the eyes and the pupils using perfect circles. The mouth is created from a long curved line while the nose is done using an oval shape. Short and pointed claws are also added as shown in the illustration below.

How to draw a sloth

one branch and a few patches to complete the drawing

On top of the drawing, you can draw a long branch made from straight lines. Inside the head, you can sketch patches using long curved lines. Now that the character is completed, let's proceed to the next step ... adding colors!

How to draw a sloth

plain colors to begin with

Sloths are filled with a brown color that also looks a little bit green (just a little bit). The legs drawn on the back are darker (simply because they are less visible). All claws are white. The top of the head is also filled with the same brown color.

Patches around the eyes and the nose are darker. The large patch found inside the head is brighter. As for the branch, you can use a brown color that is brighter and more saturated.

How to draw a sloth

Gradient colors to create a more realistic illustration

Gradient colors are perfect to create a more realistic illustration quickly and easily. As you can see below, some parts of the image are darker while others are brighter. Using this technique is cool, but adding more shadows manually can also create something even more interesting.

How to draw a sloth

adding more shadows

All shapes added below are filled with darker colors and are slightly transparent. Of course, we need to create these shadows in strategic areas to create an illustration of depth and volume. Pink lines were only added to make these new shapes easier to read.

How to draw a sloth

Good job learning how to draw a sloth that looks amazing

Below you can see the final version of this cartoon sloth once all effects and colors are added. This posture is definitely the most recognizable one featuring this creature, but don't hesitate to try more variations.

How to draw a sloth

Below you can see all the steps needed to learn how to draw a sloth that looks cute and appealing. I hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to practice as often as possible. It's the best thing to do if you wish to improve your drawing skills quickly and effectively. :)

How to draw a sloth


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