Animal ears are undeniably irresistibly adorable! Whether it’s rabbit ears or fox ears, they have a certain charm that captivates us. If you enjoy drawing, you might have tried your hand at drawing animal ears before. But perhaps you encountered some difficulties, like struggling with the right size or balance to make them look even cuter. Drawing animal ears should be a joyful and passionate experience, so let me share with you the key to avoiding obstacles and effortlessly drawing animal ears that will make your heart skip a beat!
Prepare the Characters for Adding Animal Ears
To get started, you’ll need a character illustration without ears. For this tutorial, I’ve chosen to draw a character facing forward, as it’s easier to add animal ears in this position. However, you can also draw the face from the side or at a diagonal angle. Just remember that different angles require different drawing techniques, so focus on angles you feel comfortable with.
In this example, I’ll be drawing rabbit ears. The trick is to create facial features that complement the animal ears you want to draw. Rabbit ears suit girls with a kind and comforting aura. So, I’ve drawn a hairstyle with fluffy, long half-up hair and droopy eyes to convey a comforting expression!
This illustration embodies the cozy comfort that suits rabbit ears. I’ve also added movement and curls to the hair to match the ears I’m drawing. When drawing, consider the balance between the hairstyle, facial expressions, and the ears.
Define the Position of the Ears
Now, let’s decide where to place the ears.
The position of the ears differs depending on the animal. Rabbit ears are typically located near the curved area at the top of the head. When drawing from the side, it’s easier to determine the ear position. The ears align along the vertical line that separates the front and back of the head.
If you find it challenging to locate the ears, you can refer to pictures of people wearing headbands as a guide. These images are readily available in theme parks and shops!
Define the Size of the Ears
Now, let’s move on and prepare for the actual drawing. First, decide on the size of the ears.
The size of the ears should be proportionate to the height of the face. Drawing larger ears on larger faces and smaller ears on smaller faces helps ensure a harmonious balance in your illustration.
Use the following height guide to determine the ear size:
Refer to this height guide as you adjust the ear size.
Define the Length of the Ears
Next, let’s decide on the length of the ears. For this example, I’ll make the rabbit’s ears slightly shorter. When drawing shorter rabbit ears, set their length at around two-thirds of the face height. You don’t have to be precise—the approximate length works just fine!
For other animals’ ears, such as cats or foxes, you’ll need to consider the ideal length ratio based on their characteristics. Cats’ ears, for instance, should be approximately one-third of the face length. Foxes, on the other hand, have larger ears, so their ideal length is about half the length of the face. Adapt the ear length to different animals while maintaining the overall balance.
Draw the Ears
Now, let’s start drawing the ears!
With a rough idea of the size and length of the ears, you can establish the initial shape of the ears in the rough drawing stage. Once you have the basic shape, follow the lines to draw the final ears without the need for tedious adjustments later on.
Observe real animals to understand how their ears are positioned. Animals like rabbits and foxes don’t have their ears perfectly vertical. Drawing them vertically would make the ears resemble headbands, which is not desirable.
Most animals have their ears tilted forward. Keep this in mind as you draw the ears. When drawing from the side, achieving a natural forward tilt is relatively easy. However, drawing forward-tilted ears from the front requires a bit more effort. Add depth to the ears to create a three-dimensional appearance. This depth will enhance the natural look of the ears.
To give the ears a fluffy feel, consider adding texture. While some animals have smooth ears, drawing them without texture may result in a flat and lifeless portrayal. Once you’ve completed all the necessary work, start adding colors. Matching the ear color with the hair color can give the ears a more realistic appearance. If the ear color significantly differs from the hair color, it can disrupt the overall balance of the illustration and make it seem off. In this case, since the character has pink-brown hair, using a light pink-brown color for the ears will create natural and cohesive animal ears.
Drawing Animal Ears Other Than Rabbit Ears
Besides rabbit ears, popular animal ear choices include fox ears and cat ears. Both of these animals have shorter ears compared to rabbits, resulting in different ear length ratios.
For cats, the ideal ear length should be approximately one-third of the face length. Unlike rabbits, cats’ ears are positioned closer to the sides of the head. You can draw neat triangles to define the shape, keeping in mind that cat ears also tilt forward diagonally to create a three-dimensional effect.
Foxes, on the other hand, have larger ears than cats. The ideal ear length for foxes is about half the length of the face. Pay special attention to capturing the fluffiness of the fox’s ears. Define the outline, including the tips and the hairs on the edges of the ears. Place the ears on the side of the head, drawing them large enough to cover a significant portion of the head’s side area. Don’t forget to tilt the ears forward and add a slight curl to the edges to enhance the fox-like appearance.
By adding fluffy hair accessories or being creative with various hairstyles, such as curls or waves, you can create even more intricate illustrations that seamlessly integrate animal ears with your characters.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully created three types of animal ears: rabbit, cat, and fox ears. Each set of ears has its unique charm. Let’s recap what you need to remember when drawing animal ears:
- Position the ears along the line that divides the front and back of the head.
- Adjust the ear length ratio to two-thirds for rabbits, one-third for cats, and half for foxes, relative to the face length.
- Pay attention to the forward tilt of the ears, mimicking the natural position of real animal ears.
Keep these guidelines in mind, and you’ll be able to draw characters with cute animal ears effortlessly. Characters with animal ears can be a perfect fit for various artistic scenarios, including anthropomorphic art or love stories. I encourage you to give it a try and explore the endless possibilities!
(Text and Illustrations by Annie. Twitter: https://twitter.com/annie_pinkpom)