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How to Draw a Red Panda
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 17 Nov 2022
  • 12 Mins
  • Intermediate
  • Drawing Tutorials

How to Draw a Red Panda

With our step by step tutorial, you can learn how to draw a red panda.

Today we are guiding you through the steps on how to draw a red panda. Discovered in 1825, these creatures with their distinctive red fur, are both a herbivore and carnivore. They also prefer a solitary lifestyle and are more active at night than during the day. You can use the techniques in this tutorial to create clipart for illustrative purposes or cute clothing for children.

How to Draw a Red Panda 1

Let's quickly gather our supplies together for this easy drawing tutorial. You can use any medium you have on hand, such as colored pencils, or digital programs like Procreate.

In this tutorial, we will use Procreate along with these ink Procreate brushes for outlining our drawing. For the shading, we will also be using these Procreate chalk brushes.

Looking for more brush options for your sketch ideas? Design Bundles has tons of Procreate brushes to choose from.

Step 1 - Sketch Basic Shapes for the Red Panda

We are going to begin by sketching the basic shapes that make up our red panda. It's a good idea to use a medium that is easy to remove or cover up the rough sketches. A good example would be a pencil.

Sketch the Head and Body

We want to create a side-view drawing. We will sketch the head to the right, and the back end of the body to the left.

First, draw a circle for the head of your red panda. Then, sketch an oval that is double the size of the head shape. Place this oval shape just beneath the head and angle it towards the left. See our sketch below for a better visual.

How to Draw a Red Panda 2

Sketch the Tail and Ears

Next, sketch the two ears on either side of the red panda head at the top. Then, at the bottom of the body, sketch the tail. Begin your tail sketch on the bottom left of the body. Keep the left side narrow and widen the shape as you curve towards the right side of the sketch.

Think of a wobbly teardrop where the tail end is rounded.

How to Draw a Red Panda 3

Step 2 - Define the Red Panda Rough Sketch

With our basic shapes done, we can start defining our drawing and add the final detail. Continue using your sketching medium in this step.

Define the Body and Head

Starting with the head, add definition to the shape. Do this by widening both sides at the bottom for the cheeks, as we did below.

On the front of the body, right above the tail shape, sketch three dividing lines going upwards for the two front legs. Sketch a curve near the top of the left leg side and a smaller one on the right side.

How to Draw a Red Panda 4

Define the Face of the Red Panda

On the red panda face, sketch guidelines going vertically and horizontally. Looking at our example below, we sketched our horizontal guideline with a slight curve towards the bottom half of the face.

We drew the vertical guideline in the center of the face and curved it towards the right side. These guides will help to plan our facial features and keep everything in line.

How to Draw a Red Panda 5

Our red panda face is slightly more visible on the left side. This means that the right side face features will be a little smaller. Sketch the eyes on the horizontal guideline with the vertical line between them. Remember to add some space between the eyes.

Above the eyes, on either side of the vertical line, sketch the eyebrows in curved teardrops.

Towards the bottom of the vertical guidelines, add the nose and mouth lines. Draw a large teardrop shape around the nose and mouth. You can use the sketch below if you need any help.

How to Draw a Red Panda 6

Add the Final Red Panda Details

For our final sketches, draw the stripes on the red panda's bushy tail. Next, draw the cheek detail and add a pointed shape to the bottom of the ears, sticking out from the sides. Lastly, sketch a curved line inside the ear shapes.

How to Draw a Red Panda 7

Step 3 - Outline The Red Panda Rough Sketch

We have completed our red panda rough sketches. Let's now move on to the next step. Using a permanent or defining medium, like a marker or pen, outline your sketch.

Start by outlining the main shapes of your red panda. This includes the ears, head, body, legs, and tail. For the cheeks of our red panda, we added a few jagged lines on either side to give the effect of hair.

How to Draw a Red Panda 8

Next, outline the facial features and ear lines, adding jagged hair lines on the mouth, eyebrows, and cheek shapes.

How to Draw a Red Panda 9

Line the tail stripes using the same hair detail as you used for the face. We added an extra outline, going from the head to the rear end of our red panda. This will create separation between the chest and belly.

How to Draw a Red Panda 10

Once you have completed your red panda outline, go ahead and remove the rough sketches.

How to Draw a Red Panda 11

Step 4 - Add Color to Your Red Panda

With our red panda outlined, we can begin adding color and shading. For our color palette, we chose orange, brown, dark brown and gray.

The orange was applied to the head, back, and alternating tail stripes on our red panda. We added the gray to the ears, eyebrows, cheeks, and mouth.

Then, the brown was added to the inner part of the ears, on the chest, belly, and the rest of the tail stripes.

How to Draw a Red Panda 12

To give our red panda drawing some depth, we added shading by using the “Soft1” brush from our chalk brush set. We chose the dark brown color and added shading to the ears, the bottom half of the face, chest, legs, and the bottom of the tail.

Here is the final result of our red panda drawing.

How to Draw a Red Panda 13

Fantastic job on drawing your very own cute red panda! Why not add your newly created clipart to your drawing collection or turn it into cute stickers for decoration? We hope you enjoyed following this tutorial along with us and feel inspired to draw other adorable animals.


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