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How to Draw a Tiger Japanese Style

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Byako the Japanense Tiger
The difference between a Japanese tiger and a tiger from anywhere else is the style of drawing used. Japanese tigers are drawn in a cartoon-like fashion, with flowing lines and fierce expressions. You can draw a tiger this way if you observe the style of the art form and prevent yourself from drawing too realistically. A good Japanese-tiger rendering captures the spirit of the animal without allowing normal rules of drawing to get in the way.

Step 1

Look at a picture of a Japanese drawing of a tiger. Note how the drawing flows together and eliminates the need for harsh lines or shading. Trace the outline of the design onto a sheet of scrap paper to determine how the differenet elements of the drawing work together to create a cohesive whole. You can use the outline as a base for your real drawing, or use the original as inspiration. 


Step 2

Draw a circle for the tiger’s head and one for the body immediately behind the first circle. This will crate a tiger that is springing off the page at you. Add a line in front for a paw and one in back for a tail.


Step 3

Flesh out the body outline, adding in the other legs, the back haunches and the paws. Keep the lines smooth and flowing. Use a marker or a watercolor paintbrush dipped in black paint to make the outline. This will help retain the smoothness of the design and the spirit of the tiger. 


Step 4

Add other outline details, such as the tail, ears and face. A Japanese tiger will have larger ears that normal with pointed tufts of hair. The tail should contain smooth, flowing lines. Give the tiger a hairy face with long whiskers and large eyes.


Step 5

Draw the details, such as stripes, whiskers, fur texture and claws. Japanese tigers use jagged strips full of animation and life. Sometimes the stripes flow beyond the outline of the tiger. Give the tiger sleek body fur, with a furry face, ears and tail. Make the claws long and pointed.


Step 6

Color the painting with paint, markers or colored pencils. Most Japanese tigers are colored with one of these supplies. Use  a natural paintbrush if you choose to paint the tiger. Most Japanese art uses watercolor paints, with a hint of color mixed with the bold flair of the animal's outline. 


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