How to Draw a Squirrel

Squirrels are remarkable animals. You may have seen them in cartoons, for example, Sandy Cheek as one of Spongebob Squarepants’ main characters and Scrat the Squirrel Rat from Ice Age.

Many people love squirrels because they are cute. And many hate them because they are dirty and bring disease. No matter what, squirrels are fun to draw

You can create your squirrel by following these easy drawing steps.

You’ll need paper, a soft pencil (HB) for sketching, a hard pencil (2B-4B) for drawing, and colored pencils if you want to add color. If drawing digitally, use any app you like.

I’ll use Procreate on my iPad for my squirrel drawing, but you can follow along with Krita, Medibang, ibisPaint, Clip Studio Paint or other drawing apps.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Squirrel

Step 1: Draw the Basic Shapes of the Squirrel

Squirrel basic shape

For the first step of our drawing, we need to draw the basic shapes of the squirrel.

If you don’t know, to make drawing more effortless, we should draw 2D shapes like a circle, rectangle, triangle, and square to help you draw the squirrel body part.

Start thinking about what 2D or 3D shapes you can use to draw your squirrel. You must draw the outline for the squirrel’s body, head, ear, arms, legs and tail. 

For the body, draw a long ellipse pointing to the upper right. Then, draw a circle at the top of the ellipse to outline the squirrel’s head.

Then, by following our example, draw the basic shapes of the squirrel’s arm, legs and tail using circles and rectangles.

For the arm, we can use one circle and a rectangle. For the legs, draw two circles at the bottom of the squirrel’s body. Lastly, draw the tail outline.

After drawing all the basic shapes, check the proportions. Make sure that the body, head, and fin have the correct proportions.

Step 2: Draw the Squirrel’s Head, and Nose

Drawing the squirrel's head and nose

Now, start drawing the squirrel head by following your circle. Start drawing the left part of the head and make it arise to show the squirrel has a neck.

Then, draw the right part of the head from the top, slowly to the bottom, then draw two curved lines from the head to the center of the head to create the mouth.

Above the mouth, draw the nose by drawing a line, then a small triangle.

Draw confidently, without any hesitation, in one stroke. Avoid sketch and hesitant lines; a chicken scratch line is terrible for drawing and shows you’re not confident with your line.

Step 3: Draw the Squirrel’s Eyes and Ears

drawing the squirrel's eye and ears

Draw the squirrel eye by creating a long line at the center of the head, then a half ellipse on top of it. 

Then, draw a small circle for the pupil of the eye.

You can also draw your squirrel’s eye just by using a circle, but I prefer my eye style to make the squirrel look cartoonish.

Just above and slightly behind the eyes, draw two fluffy triangular shapes with rounded corners for the ears. Tilt them forward at the top, following the direction of the head tilt in the reference image.

Step 4: Draw the Squirrel’s Arms and Chest

draw squirrel arm and chest

Draw the right arm by using the circles you drew for the arms in Step 1, and extend the lines downwards using slightly curved lines. Keep them a bit thicker than the legs to emphasize the fluffy forearms.

From the top of the head, draw a smooth curved line down the back, connecting with the lines you drew for the body in Step 1. This creates the rounded back of the squirrel.

Then, we draw the chest by drawing a smooth but slightly curved line downward from the head. The curve should be gentle, creating a rounded and fluffy appearance for the chest.

Step 5: Draw the Squirrel Back and an Acorn

Draw the squirrel back and acorn

Now, draw the back by drawing a line from the top of the head. The line should be a smooth and gently curved line down the back. 

Remember to follow the contour of the spine, not a straight line. This creates a rounded and natural looking back.

Connect the backline to the base of the tail and the lines you drew for the body in Step 1

I add an acorn to my squirrel drawing. Squirrels like eating an acorn, and I add it to complete the drawing.

In the right hand, draw a medium-sized oval shape for the acorn. Tilt it slightly to match the angle of the hand.

Add a small rounded triangle at the top of the oval for the acorn cap. 

Draw short, curved lines on the oval to represent the texture of the acorn shell. These lines should follow the natural direction of the acorn’s grooves.

Step 6: Draw the Right Leg and Toe

squirrel right leg and toe

Starting from the circle you drew for the right leg in Step 1, extend a curved line downwards to represent the upper leg. Adjust the curve to match the bend in the pose.

Draw a small circle slightly inwards and below the end of the upper leg line to represent the knee joint. This adds dimension and realism to the leg.

Extend another curved line downwards for the lower leg from the knee joint. Make it slightly thinner than the upper leg for a natural taper. Draw a small oval shape for the paw at the end of the lower leg line. Tilt the oval slightly to match the angle of the foot.

You can draw three small circles or lines to represent the toes within the oval paw shape.

Refine the lines to ensure smooth connection and natural flow of the leg.

Add short, wispy lines around the leg and paw to suggest a fluffy fur texture.

Step 7: Draw the Left Leg and Toe

squirrel left leg and toe

Repeat the previous step. Now, draw the squirrel’s left leg and toe. Unlike the right leg, most of the left leg will be hidden.

To make it realistic, you can draw the left leg thoroughly first, then erase the hidden part.

Step 8: Draw the Tail

complete squirrel drawing

This is the last step before coloring our drawing. Now, you need to draw the tail. 

Locate the point where the body and tail meet. From this point, draw a short, curved line upwards to define the base of the tail.

Draw a curved line extending upwards from the base, gradually tapering as it moves away from the body. Keep the curve gentle and avoid making it too sharp.

Add short, curved lines branching off from the main tail line to capture the fluffy appearance.  These lines should differ in length and angle, creating a natural, textured look. Imagine these lines as individual strands of fur flowing in the air.

For added depth, consider shading the underside of the tail slightly darker than the top.

Feel free to adjust the tail’s curve and fluffiness to suit your own artistic style.

Step 9: Color the Squirrel

Coloring the squirrel

Your squirrel drawing is finished. 

The main body color is a warm medium brown (think “cinnamon”). You can use colored pencils, markers, or digital paint tools, depending on your preferred medium.

For shading, apply a slightly darker brown for shading in areas like the back, under the belly, and around the legs. Blend the transition between the base and shade for a smooth effect.

Add touches of a lighter brown or warm beige color on the chest, forehead, and tail tip for highlights. This creates dimension and mimics how sunlight reflects off the fur.

Use a light cream or peach color for a soft contrast for the belly and paws.

For the nose, use a brown, adding a cute touch.

Finally, for the acorn, give a brown color for the acorn shell, with darker shades for the cap and grooves. 

Photo of author
Kenny HD
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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