Easy-to-Draw Cartoon Lion

Cartoon Lion

Does a cartoon lion like this one have what it takes to be the King of the Jungle? Sure he does. No matter how cute and how cuddly, he's still a lion just the same!

In this lesson, I thought it'd be fun to take a different approach and draw an animal in an ultra-simplified style - one that looks more like a stuffed toy.

If you're familiar with "Hello Kitty" than it should be easy to appreciate the simplicity that goes into a simple drawing like this one. We can make something look "lionish" with even the fewest and simplest of details.

What's great about this particular model for drawing a cartoon lion is that you can apply it to many other animals. Just keep the body as is, and with a few minor changes in the head, you've got yourself a tiger, a leopard, or even a house cat!

Well, this lion want to get drawn, so let's get a move on!


Cartoon Lion

First Step - A Head for Your Lion

The first step in drawing your cartoon lion is to give him a head. And similar to some other lessons on the site, it begins by drawing an oval with a cross over it.

Draw the oval so it's more vertical-looking. Then, to keep symmetry as you map out the features of your lion's face, draw a cross directly over it.

Got the cross in place? Excellent. Now it's on to the features that make up the actual face. Begin by drawing the eyes (as usual). After that it's up to you. I recommend nose, mouth and then ears. And of course, add a few more details if you like.

Now, judging by the looks of the lion up top - this one is a male. And yes, male lions are definitely best known for their thick lion-like manes. So, let's draw one...

Cartoon Lion

Second Step - The Mane

For the mane, begin by lightly sketching another oval around the first one.

Then, with your second oval in place, begin drawing the mane of your cartoon lion.

Start at any point on the oval and in a "spike-like" pattern, move your pencil around the oval. It's completely up to you as to how many spikes you draw and how different they are from each other. Keep it random, or make them symmetrical.

Mane in place then? Great, let's continue...

Third Step - A Simple Symmetrical Body for Your Cartoon Lion

Alright, now it's on to creating a body for your lion. The first thing then is to draw a centerline. Draw the centerline so that it extends down from the head of your lion. Just like this...

Cartoon Lion Cartoon Lion Cartoon Lion

With the centerline in place, it's now very easy to draw a simple symmetrical body. First, draw in a couple 2/3 circles - one on either side of the bottom of the centerline. Then, add three cloud-like bumps for toes.

Once the feet are in place, follow along with the drawings in the example above. Four simple lines and two curves are all it takes to bring the body of your cartoon lion into view.

Pretty easy isn't it! On to the final step...

Cartoon Lion

Final Step - Back Legs and Details

OK. The final step is here! Start off by drawing in two "humps" for the upper parts of the back legs. After that, draw in the portion of each foot that is visible behind the front paws.

Next, add some detail. First, you can define the front paws a little further by drawing in two vertical curved lines on each one. This makes the toes really stand out.

Another thing you may want to do is change the style of the mane. If you look above at the finished colored drawing, you can see that I've given my cartoon lion some bangs. This is up to you. The only other thing to do for details is give your lion a tail.

In the end, you've got a cute "stuffed-toy-like" cartoon lion. Now give him some color and a crown so he can continue his role as King of the Jungle!

That's all... very good work! :-)