In this lesson, create a drawing of a unicorn – easily one of (if not the most) famous of all fantasy creatures.
In the cartoon animals section, I mentioned how learning how to draw one thing – a horse for example, can make other things that look similar a lot easier to draw.
Well, this point applies perfectly to this lesson here. A unicorn as we all know – is basically a horse with a horn. Learn how to draw one here, and then – drawing something like a horse, cow, donkey, zebra, etc., will seem a whole lot easier later on.
Of course – unicorns don’t necessarily look EXACTLY like horses. They’re very special creatures in terms of their physical appearance and so it only makes sense to draw them with their unique characteristics in mind. And so, let’s do just that…
First Step – Drawing a Framework for Your Unicorn
As mentioned above, a unicorn is similar to a horse – but with a horn! And with respect to drawing something ‘horse-like’ it makes sense to first understand the simple shapes that compose such creatures and how they come together to give them their shape.
In four simple steps, here’s how the framework for your unicorn drawing comes together…
Something about horses, unicorns, zebras, etc. — they can be tricky to draw correctly at a first attempt. The legs of a unicorn – as well as the body, take on a special form that needs to drawn reasonably correct so that you’re satisfied with the end result.
Take your time with the steps above. Go for a ‘likeness’ and not necessarily perfection. This combination of circles, rectangles and triangles is ideal for drawing horse-looking creatures. Do this, and it’s on to the next step…
Second Step – Drawing the Mane and Head of Your Unicorn
It’s true, unicorns are special partly due to their graceful feminine appearance. And so, it makes sense to incorporate this idea into your drawing. For example – the mane. A unicorn’s mane can be made to look more unique, feminine, graceful, etc. by drawing long wavy, curly hair.
Draw in the mane of your unicorn and be sure to leave room for the ear and the horn.
A nice start to this drawing of a unicorn! And with the mane in place – now go ahead and sketch in the head – or what can be seen of it. Use the shapes as a guide, but feel free to deviate here and there as you see fit.
Everything looking good up to now? Alright then – let’s continue!…
Third Step – Body
A few well placed lines is all it takes to bring the body of your unicorn into view.
In this drawing of a unicorn, I’ve tried to keep to the more sleek/feminine look, and in doing so – have cut inwards from the framework.
Actually, it’s here where you can really get creative with your unicorn drawing – horse drawings too! Keep in mind, horses – while they can be drawn sleek and feminine like this… can easily be made to look larger and more muscular as well. You can go outside and beyond your framework as you like to give your horse/unicorn a more ‘heavy-set’ appearance.
On to the fourth step…
Fourth Step – Drawing the Unicorn Legs
First – take a look at the small picture of the unicorn drawing to the right. Note the position of the grey circles. I included these circles as a guide by which you can position the joints of the legs.
If a horse is standing upright – same with the unicorn in this example, you would see that that back legs are much more powerful than the front – something indicated by these circle markers. Without too much explanation here – put more emphasis on the position of the back leg than the front with respect to the rectangles of the framework…
What’s interesting too… if you practice drawing horse legs like this — off to the side of your page… you’ll see that it really is important to get the initial position bang on. Of course, with respect to drawing cartoons – you could easily get away with more simple vertical legs. I just went into a little more detail here as it can help to work from/with examples that are slightly more realistic.
When you get the left front and back legs of your unicorn drawn, let’s move up to the head and zoom in to draw the horn…
Fifth Step – Steps in the Drawing of a Unicorn Horn
Perfect We’re nice and close now so you can easily see how the drawing of a unicorn horn takes place – beginning with a simple placement line…
Once you’ve decided upon the placement (and length) of your horn, begin by drawing a base segment just like the one in the middle picture above. Make yoursmore even if you like — I’m going for the ‘twisting horn look‘ here. Now, after the base segment is in place, repeat the process up the line – decreasing the size of each new segment as you move toward the tip.
And yes, it does indeed appear to be ‘twisting’ when it’s all finished. A neat and simple little effect I must say!
Now, let’s finalize this drawing of a unicorn!…
Final Step – Finalize Your Drawing of a Unicorn
Well, the time has finally come — time to wrap things up and finish off your unicorn drawing.
And as you may have noticed – there are certainly a few more things that need to be done.
Mirror the legs of your unicorn by looking at the original left front and back legs that you first put into place. Then, give your unicorn a few details – eye, ears, etc. Oh – and don’t forget the tail — make it similar to the mane.
Anything else? Well, that’s up to you. I do of course recommend you add some color. Have a look up top once again to see how my finished drawing of a unicorn turned out.
And that’s all there is to it! Great work… you can now draw a unicorn, and well – most likely a horse too!