How to Draw a Fox in My Topographical Style
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Draw a Funky Fabulous Fox
If you can’t guess by the very name of this website, I adore foxes. I have always been fascinated with them. To me, foxes capture the spirit of the forest like no other animal. So naturally, it made sense for me to try drawing foxes — at least a few times! If you’re interested in trying to learn how to draw a fox, then allow me to walk you through how I create these creatures in one of my signature styles.
This tutorial is not dependent on any particular type of material. I’m just making simple line art, so grab your favorite pen, and you’re all set! I used an iPad and Apple Pencil to draw this fox in Procreate, but you can just as easily draw your fox on paper with art pens. When I’ve created my topographical style on paper, I typically used my Sakura Microns after sketching it out with a pencil.
How to Draw a Fox
Let’s get into the drawing part, shall we?
But First: Collect References
When you’re drawing something you’re not intimately familiar with, you need to find reference images. I just did a quick Google search for “foxes” and found a ton of images. I then collected the images that had the right angles and positions into a rough collage. Once you’ve collected your reference images, you can use them to help you sketch out your fox with the right proportions, shapes, and anatomy.
You want to make sure when using references that you don’t copy an image directly, even with a more abstract style like the one I’m showing you today. At least, don’t copy directly if you plan on sharing your work online or presenting it as your own. Copying reference images is a great way to practice, but you can’t try to pass it off as your own. The photographer worked hard to capture that image, so don’t steal it by plagiarizing it into your art!
Step One: Sketch Out a Few Options
The first thing you need to do when figuring out how to draw a fox is to pick a pose and composition. I personally like elongating the tail and making my fox a bit more dramatic. You can choose to keep your fox more true to life if you’d like. Using your reference images and play around with a few options for your fox. When drawing in my topographical line art style, I tend to lean toward profiles and side shots. This makes the following steps a bit easier.
Step Two: Sketch Out the Rough Design
Once you’ve settled on a composition you like, sketch it out as large as the final piece. Don’t try to keep this step clean. Instead, keep a loose wrist and try to capture the general shapes and movement of the body.
If you’re drawing digitally, make this a new layer. In fact, it’s good practice to keep each step a new layer, then merge when you’re finished. If you’re using traditional materials, lightly sketch your fox with a pencil so you can erase these lines later.
Step Three: Outline the Fox
Now it’s time to ink your fox! Grab a thick pen, like a .05 or .08 Micron, and draw the outline of the fox. In contrast to the sketching step, I try to keep my inking step clean and smooth. Once the ink is dry, go back and erase the pencil lines.
Step Four: Block Out the Inner Shapes
Once you get the outline inked, you can really do whatever you want with your fox. But I like to fill outlines of animals with my topographical style to really show the sections of the animal. To do this, grab your pencil again and lightly draw the chunks you want to highlight. I try to keep these separated like the natural breaks in the body. I separate the tail from the hindquarters, the midsection from the shoulders, and so on. How you break up your fox is up to you. Take your time marking these with your pencil until you are satisfied.
For my fox, I decided to leave the underbelly, tip of the tail, ears, and legs unblocked.
Step Five: Ink the Sections
Now it’s time to ink the blocks you just drew out! Grab a thinner pen than the one you used for the outline to draw these sections. Then carefully ink each block, taking care to leave a sliver of negative space between them.
Step Six: Go Round and Round
Let’s fill in those blocks! Using the same pen as the previous step, go to a section you blocked off. On the inside of the outline, trace along the shape of the outline until you get back to the beginning. Then start another loop on the inside of the loop you just created. Continue doing this until you run out of space, then move on to another section. Think of these rings like the rings of a tree trunk. Allow the shape to wander and create interesting new patterns as you trace the previous line.
This step takes time, but it’s not hard at all. If you make a little mistake, don’t worry about it! There are enough lines and movement in the final piece that it won’t be noticeable. Just be patient and try to keep the spacing between each ring fairly consistent and your fox will look amazing.
How to Draw a Fox – Next Steps
That’s all there is to creating a beautiful and unique topographical fox! This technique looks super hard and intricate, but it’s really very simple to create. And you can always use this technique on other animals if you want. The applications are endless! Once you have your topographical fox lined out, you can leave it as is or add color to it. I’ve enjoyed watercoloring my foxes, but you can also color them with any pens, pencils, or markers you want. Now that you’ve learned how to draw a fox in this style, you can do whatever to make it your own!
If you create something from this tutorial and decide to share it online, please tag me on Facebook (@littlecoffeefox) and Instagram (@little_coffee_fox), so I can see it! I love seeing the art of other amazing artists — especially art of foxes, of course!
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