40 Beautiful and Realistic Animal Sketches For Your Inspiration

animal sketches

Lot of popularity has been seen regarding animal photography, but very few of us look on the part of animal sketch. Animals can be realistic in drawings too. Actually we people think that drawings can be never be so realistic like photography.

It is true in some sense, but it is also sure that hand drawn pictures contains some other essence of reality. But in this matter the artist should be quiet experienced and talented so that he or she can easily portray each and every detail.

So let’s spend some time with some awesome talented sketch of animals. These beautiful and realistic animal sketches will show how artists capture reality in an otherwise inaccessible animal kingdom.

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Animals are always a great subject for the artists. You should know that drawing any living object is a very interesting part of art. It is also tough enough in that sense.

Drawing a picture needs a lot of detailed observation, otherwise it is very tough to go through the full detailed drawing may be it is a pencil sketch or a color drawing.

The most important part is that the artist has to keep in mind about the photorealistic matters. Pencil sketches are quiet more tough as it depends on the light shading matters.

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Retuning back to the history, animals first appeared in the mural paintings long long ago. This was the first time when artists used to portray animals in their paintings. Slowly they started playing a demanding role in the traditional art forms like sketches and paintings. Presently animals are presented in true realistic forms in paintings through high end technique which is hard to believe as a painting though. This is amazingly very interesting to know that visual art can be also be so realistic in that sense. Art tools have become much developed nowadays, which helps the modern artists to work with various high end tools for their drawings to add more realistic views.

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Drawing is a part of visual art form that helps in making two dimensional pictures but nowadays 3D drawings can also be made as the techniques have been found to draw 3D images. There are various types of instruments such as graphite pencils, ink and pen, crayons, charcoal, pastels, markers, stylus chalk etc. But everything depends on the artist’s creativity and the view of them. We can just inspire a bit with our small effort as part of an artist’s inspiration.

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Can you imagine a running horse in a handmade sketch? But it is not so easy to draw. Most of the animals look beautiful in sketches but normally dog, cat, various birds, tiger, lion, etc are seen to be portrayed by the artists. It is very necessary to study the anatomy of an animal before making a sketch of it. Actually if you are an artist, you will probably know that an art should never be copied. Every artist has their own style of drawing and use of techniques. But inspiration can be taken from various artworks and form of arts. Inspiration plays a very vital role in any form of visual art.

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After knowing the demand of various types of animal sketch around the internet, we thought of making a collection that will contain about 40 beautiful animal sketches as a part of inspiration for the beginner artist in this arena. And now it is already done for all of you. We have collected 40 different animal sketch from various websites in a single place for saving your valuable time. Each and every picture in this article is photorealistic and will really inspire from all sides. So now it’s time to grab your pencil and paper and start making a new sketch of an animal from your point of view.

Beautiful and Realistic Animal Sketches For Your Inspiration

Dog at Play

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This picture shows a pup resting on the floor while nibbling on a tennis ball. Notice the masterful play of shadows, shades, and textures and the exceptional portrayal of the pup’s facial features.

At first glance, this illustration looks like a husky pup. However, several dog breeds resemble traits like the Siberian husky. Since it is just a pup, this dog can be mistakenly identified as a Malamute, an Akita Inu, a Samoyed, or an Alaskan Klee Kai.

Basset Hounds on the Ground

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Knowing your dog breeds will tell you that this drawing of two dogs with long flowy ears and drooping faces are basset hounds. These dogs are easy-going and friendly. You can catch them striking a pose for the perfect illustration.


The King of Beasts

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It’s highly improbable for anyone to create a sketch of a lion this up close. Unless the lion has been tamed, you might end up as prey. This illustration was probably a reproduction of an image taken by a high-powered camera from a distance.

Check out these photos of lions for a substantial resource of lion shots.

Feline Alternatives

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Having a domesticated cat is a much more plausible alternative than trying to sneak up on a real live lion for a drawing.

Get Your Stripes On

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If you’re looking to draw natural black-and-white stripes, there is no question that you need a dazzle of zebras. However, zebras are magnificent equines freely roaming only in Africa. If you don’t have access to a zoo, you are better off just browsing zebra pictures on the web.


King of the Jungle

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If you thought we were still talking about lions, you should know that they don’t live in the jungle. The Bengal tiger is one of the top predators in the jungle, and like zebras, they have beautiful stripes that deserve capturing through illustration.

Like lions, they do not work as a live, close-up subject for art, but they do have awesome photographs. If you want a live animal subject, you’re better off starting with cats and dogs.

The African Elephant

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You’re lucky if you ever get the chance to be up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. Also known as the protectors of the wild, you can only find African elephants on the African continent unless bred and cared for in captivity.

If you want to draw the African elephant, brush up on details using our elephant images.

Toad or Frog?

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At some point in our lives, we have seen these amphibians up close. There’s also a fat chance you’ve studied their anatomy in school.

Toads are generally larger than frogs, but frogs come in all sizes. An easy distinction between toads and frogs is the texture of their skin. While toads have wart-like protrusions all over their bodies, frogs are typically smooth, sleek, and shiny.

It’s easy to draw a frog in monochrome, but it’s much more interesting to create a realistic rendition of a frog in full color.


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This picture shows a cat and a butterfly at peace. If the image were live, the butterfly would flap its wings, and the cat would chase it to who knows where. Often, illustrated artworks can be photorealistic even if the realism in the drawing is questionable.

Power in Focus

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When we try to draw a raptor, we sometimes just want to amplify its resplendence by magnifying its power. This drawing emphasizes the eagle’s streamlined head and powerful beak.

Wild and Cunning

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Wild boars are dangerous animals that can thrust their tusks at unsuspecting bystanders when they feel threatened. For an art project, you’ll be much safer with pigs and piglets as live subjects.

Long-Eared Fluff

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Rabbits are pretty much easy to draw once you get the entire form. If you have a pet rabbit, you’ll find that the ears, eyes, and snout sum up the details.

The Asian Elephant

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There are only two types of elephants still alive today: the African elephant and the Asian elephant. While African elephants have large, broad ears and a single-domed head, Asian elephants’ ears are smaller, and their heads have two domes.

Asian elephants are also relatively smaller and have a shorter lifespan than their African counterparts. Another distinguishing characteristic is their lower lips. Asian elephants have elongated and tapered lower lips, while those from Africa are rounded and shorter.

Equine Friends

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Horses are majestic creatures; they represent strength, grace, freedom, and fortitude. Whenever you get to see wild horses running, take in the powerful image and translate them into beautiful drawings.

Attention to Detail

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Who thought something as simple as a cat’s face could put you to the test of honing your attention to minute details?

Angering the King

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As already mentioned, getting close to a creature as formidable as the lion is a feat. If you want to capture its expression of rage, it’s easier to look for videos and images of the lion hunting for prey.

Mother and Child

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Parental instincts are apparent in many animals, especially primates. This image shows a mother and child pair of the white side-burned black langur.

What Did You Do?

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Imagine seeing your dog after he broke some pots and chewed off the beautiful flowers of your perennials. Wouldn’t he look exactly like this one?

Strike a Pose


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If you need to draw a creature that can strike a pose, look no further than the sloth. Sloths have a pace that makes them even much slower than tortoises.

Sinister Face

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If you’ve seen The Lion King, then you’ve seen the sinister faces of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. They are hyenas—wild, dog-like creatures more closely related to cats.

It’s All in the Details


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Look at this extraordinarily detailed and realistic drawing of the African elephant.

Geometric and Organic

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The illustrator of this owl used its feathers to incorporate arabesque patterns. Nevertheless, the drawing remains true to the organic form of the creature.

Cat or Lynx?

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Looking at an animal drawing with macro facial details can leave you thinking about whether it is of a domestic animal or a wild predator.



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Isn’t it much more fun having cats and dogs for pets if they get along well?

Which Feline?

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The picture above shows a wild feline with her cubs. Would you know at first glance if they are a family of jaguars, leopards, or cheetahs? Because of their solid black spots, slender stature, and relatively small head, they are definitely cheetahs.

Cats, Cats, and More Cats!

Look at these cat images and determine which of them are actually drawings or monochrome photographs.


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Dogs Illustrated

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Check out the exceptional skill that went into these drawings of a Great Dane, a Bullmastiff, and two Tamaskan pups.

Feline Oddity

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While many pet lovers enjoy their furry friends, some just prefer hairless breeds. The drawing below resembles one of four cat breeds: Sphynx, Donskoy, Peterbald, or Dwelf.

Serene Landscapes

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Compared to wild cats, herbivores in the wild are much better live subjects. For instance, take a look at this caribou. It’s much easier to spot them in the wild, and you won’t have to worry much about the dangers of the great outdoors.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Just looking at these beautiful and realistic animal sketches will get you thinking of the several facets that came into the artwork.

Since they look so life-like, it’s easy to imagine these animals just jumping right out of the page. More importantly, it does not take much observation to get emotions oozing out of your subconscious.

Was each an artist’s firsthand experience or a reproduction of an existing photograph? Of course, most animals tend to move in reaction to humans or any stimulant. As such, the closest you can get to capturing stills live is from a deer in headlights.


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