how to draw a chimpanzee

How to Draw a Chimpanzee

Step 1.

Start off by picking your tools. I decided to use HB graphite for sketching/details, 6B graphite for medium shading/detail, and 9B graphite for my darkest shading. You can use woodless graphite if you have it to make shading over large areas easier. Charcoal would also look great for this drawing. Just use HB and 4B/6B charcoal instead of graphite. I used smooth Bristol paper for this drawing.

Step 2.

Start off by drawing basic guidelines using an HB pencil. Be sure to sketch as lightly as you can. It's usually easier to start out by sketching a circle and then adding basic guidelines and shapes to it. Use a T-square or a ruler if you have trouble sketching straight/perpendicular lines.

Step 3.

Lightly sketch in the eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth. Don't worry about getting size and placement perfect just yet.

Step 4.

Roughly sketch in the chimp's hair. Just try to get the basic shapes down; nothing too complex.

Step 5.

Erase any unneeded guidelines here. Don't worry if you can't completely erase you lines. Just try to make your drawing less cluttered.

Step 6.

Use a 6B pencil to start defining your main lines a bit more. Be sure to draw very lightly. You shouldn't have to press down very hard to get a 6B pencil to create dark values. Don't get too detailed with your lines. Keep it clean and simple.

Step 7.

Define the lines on the rest of the drawing. Pay attention to the direction of the fur/hair lines.

Step 8.

For this step I rubbed a piece of paper towel into some powdered graphite then did some rough shading over the drawing. You can basically do the same thing by roughly shading over the drawing using HB graphite.

Step 9.

Smooth out your rough shading using a paper towel. Try to get it as smooth as you can without completely losing you sketch lines.

Step 10.

It's time for some shading! Use a 6B pencil to roughly start shading around the eyes and forehead. Shading lightly with a 6B pencil will allow you to crate all sorts of interesting textures.

Step 11.

Start refining you shading. If you are right handed it will be much easier to move from left to right. Use a 6B pencil for dark lines/shading. Bring out the HB pencil the the lighter values.

Step 12.

Finish up your shading around the eyes and forehead. Use a kneaded eraser to help you add highlights. If your 6B shading isn't dark enough add a layer of 9B shading to it.

Step 13.

Use a 6B graphite to roughly shade in the ears and and hair. Remember to pay attention to the outward flow of the hair.

Step 14.

Start defining you shading. You can roughly add some 9B shading to the darkest areas inside the ear and on the right side.

Step 15.

Start adding definition from darkest to lightest, left to right. Use an HB pencil to quickly draw in the lighter hairs then use a 6B pencil for the darker hairs behind those. Make your strokes quick and natural.

Step 16.

Finish up the chimp's hair using HB and 6B pencils. Use 9B graphite as-needed to darken you shading/lines.

Step 17.

Roughly shade in the rest of the drawing using a 6B pencil. Even though you are roughly shading it's important that you still pay attention to the direction of you strokes. You don't hat your shading to be too haphazard.

Step 18.

Start working your ways down the drawing with details. Use an HB pencil to shade lighter areas first. You can then use a kneaded eraser to add some highlights or smooth out your shading. 6B graphite works best for the darker lines/ shadows. you can also lightly go over your HB shading on the nose and the cheeks with 6B and 9B graphite to add some more natural textures.

Step 19.

Refine your shading and details some more and use 6B and 9B graphite on the dark shadows. You should shade very lightly when using 6B and 9B on large areas. Be patient and work layer by layer until you shading is as dark as you need it to be.

Step 20.

Shade you way down to the top lip. Be sure to go over your shading and details from previous steps if you see anything amiss.

Step 21.

Work your way down to the chin. use a kneaded eraser to roughly erase in the white chin hairs then use a 6B pencil to shade in the shadows behind the chin hair on the right side.

Step 22.

Use an HB pencil to add some detil to the rest of the facial hair. Use 6B and 9B graphite to shading in the rest of the drawing.

Step 23.

Finish up your drawing by going over you details and shading until you are happy with them.It may not be the prettiest chimp in the world but it is great practice for anyone interested in improving their details, texturing, and shading skill. Keep in mind that this is a graphite drawing, so it is VERY shiny due to the 6B and 9B graphite. The only my my scanner could cope with the shininess was by darkening my dark values a bit so don't worry if you can't get your graphite this dark. If you use charcoal for this drawing you should have to problem with the dark shading. That's it for this tutorial, let me know how you fare with it!

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Uploaded: September 20, 2013
Artist: Finalprodigy
Difficulty: Advanced  Advanced Skill Level
Steps: 23
Updated: September 20, 2013
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 5 times
Artist comments

This tutorial will show you how to draw a chimpanzee portrait. This is definitely my favorite drawing so far this year so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!