A Step-by-Step Guide – How to Draw a Deer

how to draw a deer


Drawing animals can be both challenging and rewarding for artists of all skill levels. One of the most graceful and enchanting creatures to capture on paper is the deer. These beautiful woodland animals have a distinct elegance that makes them a popular subject for artists. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explore how to draw a deer in a few simple and easy-to-follow steps. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, you’ll find this tutorial helpful in improving your skills and bringing the charm of a deer to your artwork.

Materials You’ll Need

Before we start drawing, gather your materials. You’ll need

1. Drawing paper or a sketchbook

2. Pencils of various hardness (2H, HB, 2B, 4B)

3. Eraser (kneaded or gum eraser)

4. Blending stumps or q-tips

5. A reference image of a deer

Basic Shapes 

Start with a simple sketch of the deer’s basic shapes. Begin by drawing an oval for the deer’s body and a smaller circle for the head. Use light lines at this stage; you can refine and darken them later. Add two lines for the neck and a large oval for the hindquarters. These shapes will serve as the framework for the deer’s body and will help you get the proportions right.

Legs and Neck 

Now, add the legs and neck. The front legs can be represented by long, curved lines that extend from the body’s bottom. The hind legs are thicker and should be drawn with slightly bent lines. The neck should gracefully connect the head to the body. Pay attention to the deer’s anatomy and the angle of the legs to ensure a lifelike appearance.

Head Details 

Moving on to the head, draw the deer’s eyes, which are large and almond-shaped, with a dark circle in the center for the pupil. Place the eyes slightly forward on the head. Add the ears, which are generally large and pointed, and positioned on the sides of the head. The deer’s snout is long and slender. Pay attention to the proportions and spacing between the features.


One of the most distinctive features of a male deer is its antlers. Begin by drawing a curved line extending from the head for each antler. Deer antlers can vary in shape, but for simplicity, start with a basic set of tines, or branches, extending from the main beam of the antler. Add detail by drawing more tines, making sure they curve upwards and outwards.

Tail and Body 

The deer’s tail is short and bushy, typically resembling a small oval shape. Draw the tail at the back of the hindquarters. Then, add more detail to the body by refining the curves and contours, making sure it reflects the deer’s graceful and streamlined form. Pay attention to the musculature and fur patterns.

Face Details 

Work on the deer’s facial features. Add a small, triangular nose at the end of the snout and draw a mouth that curves gently upwards. Don’t forget to erase any unnecessary lines from the initial sketch, and refine the contours of the head and face. Pay close attention to the eye details, as they are essential for capturing the deer’s expression.

Shading and Texture 

To make your deer drawing more lifelike, it’s essential to add shading and texture. Start by identifying the light source in your reference image and add shading accordingly. Use a range of pencils to create depth, with softer pencils (4B) for darker areas and harder pencils (2H, HB) for lighter ones. Pay attention to the deer’s fur patterns and use short, controlled strokes to mimic its texture.

Blending and Final Touches 

To achieve a smooth, realistic look, use blending stumps or q-tips to blend the shading gently. This softens harsh lines and creates a more organic transition between light and shadow. Once satisfied with your work, make final adjustments, erase any remaining construction lines, and refine any details that need extra attention.


What is the Colour of deer?

Coat color generally varies between red and brown, though it can be as dark as chocolate brown in the tufted deer or have a grayish tinge as in elk. Different species of brocket deer vary from gray to reddish brown in coat color.

What is a mature male deer?

A male deer is most often called a buck. Other names for male deer are stags, bulls, and harts. Young deer are called fawns, and when they are a little older they are called yearlings. Female deer can be referred to as dogs, cows, or hinds.


Drawing a deer can be a challenging but highly rewarding artistic endeavor. By breaking down the process into simple steps and paying close attention to the deer’s anatomy and details, you can create a beautiful and lifelike representation of this elegant woodland creature. Practice and patience are key to mastering this skill, so keep drawing and improving your technique. Happy drawing!

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