How-To Draw: Simba From ‘The Lion King’

– Hi everyone, I’m Brian, and I’m a character artist here at The Animation Experience
at Conservation Station. That’s inside Rafiki’s Planet Watch, at Disney’s Animal
Kingdom Park in Florida. Here, you’ll learn about
some of the animals who call our park home, learn how live animals
have inspired characters from some of your favorite Disney movies, and get to create a
personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class. I’ll be your instructor here
on the Disney Parks Blog. So, who to draw? From the day Disney’s Animal
Kingdom arrived on the planet, “The Lion King” has been part of the park. Right now, we’ve got the
Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party. The Tree of Life Awakens
at night with projections showing Simba’s journey in
a beautiful artistic style. And everyone loves the “Festival of the Lion
King” live stage show. So, today, as a tribute to our 1994 animated
classic “The Lion King,” we’re gonna draw our
young lion hero, Simba. Here at the Animation Station, we help you get started
with the basic head shape and guidelines already on the paper. Since you’re not here to draw with me, you can download that image at the Learn to Draw Simba
page on We’re gonna start with a circle. We’re gonna find these two guidelines, they’re gonna be about the
third guideline from the top, and we’re going to start a circle, which is gonna be right in
between these guidelines. The circle is going to
lean, kind of lined up with the top of this
guideline right up here. (upbeat guitar music) And you can darken it as you go because it’s a lot easier
to darken a circle, if you’re already in the
process of making it. Then we’re gonna go over to the
same spot on the other side, and draw another circle. I’m gonna try to draw
Simba pretty symmetrical. All right, then just inside of that circle we’re gonna draw another smaller circle, just inside of that. Creating the pupil and the iris around it. I tend to hold my pencil kind of weird for most people. But, just hold it however
feels best for you. Inside the pupil, we’re going to draw a little glimmer of light. The light reflecting off of the pupil. Lions have great eyesight, they do all their hunting at night. It’s the female lions
that do all the hunting. All right, while we’re
in there you can go ahead and use the side of your
pencil like a paintbrush, and shade in that pupil
around the glimmer of light. It’s a lot easier to shade
with the side of your pencil, rather than the tip. The tip will just take you forever, and you tend to break your
pencil a lot faster as well. So, we wanna see the whites of the eyes, and so for that, I’m just gonna follow
the curve of the circle. I’ma go just above that guideline. And then curve around, towards
the bottom of the circle, creating the white of the eyes. Little bit of space around there. So, same thing on the other side. And you can just go ahead and
darken that as you go as well, once you find the line that you like. You wanna thicken up the
top curve of the eye. He’s got these thick eyelids. And so we’re just gonna pull kind of a little bit of
an angle, like eyelashes, up towards the top, and then
thicken up the top curve. We’re going to draw his tear ducts next, and this gonna be kind
of a letter V shape, coming down from the side of the eye. Lions have a lot of
darkness around their eyes. We’re gonna create these little points, and then fill those in. Same thing on both sides. Now, let’s draw the
arches above Simba’s eyes. So we’re gonna start from that corner little letter
V shape that we created, and we’re gonna draw an arch, Like the Gateway Arch, or St. Louis Arch. It’s gonna curve up to the
guideline right up here. And then curve very close
to the side of the circle, and stop across from kinda where we angle in
on the eye right here. Keep your lines nice and light to start, always draw your lines
nice and light to start. Do the same thing on the other side. Stay very close to the
inside of that circle, and then stop just right across
in the middle of that eye. Then we’re gonna connect
the eye to that line by just drawing a curve that’ll
run right into that eye. All right, now as we darken
the lines for that arch, we’re gonna him eyebrows. And the eyebrows we just wanna thicken up, top curve out a little
bit of fur up there, and just add a lot of thickness. Thick eyebrows. Same thing on this side, we can add a couple more little
pointed juts on that side, doesn’t need to be completely symmetrical. Lions have pads under their eyes, it helps reflect the moonlight. And so we’re just gonna
stay just below the eye, and run back into that little
tear duct shape right there. Same thing on both sides. Just kind of an angle
down to that guideline, and then connect it all together. Do those dark, once you
get a shape that you like. Starting to look a little
bit more like Simba. Now that we’ve got the
eyes down pretty well, we’re gonna move on to Simba’s nose. So, I’m gonna start just at
the bottom of the arch shape, where the tear duct meets, and I’m just gonna draw
a very light curve. Gonna be lined up with
the side of the eye, down to this longer guideline
right here towards the bottom. I’m gonna drag a line across
the top to create wrinkles. It’s just gonna run down
to the center guideline, and then another one right above it. That one you can run
through that guideline. Creates these little wrinkles
that’ll be above the nose. On the right side, I’m gonna
start in the same spot, but I’m going to start just above it, and draw it curving
out, that way he’s not, his nose won’t be that symmetrical. It should still be lined up
to the inside of the eye. Then we’re gonna draw kind of
a stretched out curvy U shape, it’s gonna start from this
line and go to this line, run down to this little
notch guideline down there. Now we’re gonna turn that
into a boomerang shape. If you’ve forgotten how
to draw a boomerang, don’t worry, it’ll come back to ya. So we’re gonna start right up here, it’ll hit that guideline, curve down to about half way
between this line and this line and run back up, so you’ll get
this little boomerang shape. All right, we kind of
go back over those lines if you haven’t already. Make them a little bit more solid. You definitely need to throw
some nostrils in there, that’s gonna help him, you know, smell. A little hook shape in there,
a little fisherman’s hook, kinda creating a sesame
seed shape at the bottom. You can darken those as you go, once you get some shapes that you like. And then we’re going to fill those in. All right, we’re done with the nose, now we’re moving on to the mouth. So we’re gonna start by drawing
just a short little line that’s going to between
the nose and the circle. Slowly just going to stop right
in the middle right there. Now we’re gonna curves for his cheeks, that’ll start way back
up here by the tear duct where it touches his nose. And then we’re gonna draw a little curve which’ll run down to the guideline, and then we’re gonna curve it
out to the side of the circle. Darken that as you go. On the right side, you can
change it up a little bit, and kinda make it a
little bit more of a smirk by creating this kinda bent S curve. Now between this guideline
and the side of the circle we’re gonna find the
halfway point on this. This’ll be the corner of his
mouth, and like his dimple. And I’m gonna draw, just gonna end up looking like a letter W. Just gonna run down to the
bottom of the circle right there, and there, same place on the other side. And then we’re gonna come
to a rounded off point, and run into that mark that you made, creating kind of a stretched out letter W. You can go back over those
lines, if you haven’t already. Refine them. And then we’re gonna move into the chin. For the chin we start from
the corner of the mouth, and then just gonna run down
to this bottom guideline, the outside of the circle. Same thing on this side, run
down to the bottom guideline. Then we can kinda very
lightly curve off the bottom, creating a big U shape. Now when we darken this
we want to add fur to it. So we’re just gonna follow the shape, and just gonna add these
little pieces of fur, these little juts of fur sticking out. Not too much, just a little
bit towards the bottom. And you can really do
this however you want, make it as fluffy as you want, make him nice and fluffy. Next, we want to draw Simba’s ears. So we’re gonna find the half way point between this top guideline right here, and the second guideline right here on the outside of our circle. His ears are shaped like mug handles. So I’m going to start right in there, I’m gonna run to the
top of that guideline, I’m gonna curve out, and down to to bottom
guideline right here, this one. And then curve back up slightly. Just gonna get this big mug handle shape, do the same thing on the other side, big mug handle shape. All right now it has these
curves, these folds in his ears, and we’re gonna do S curves for those. And we start just across
from this line by the eye, just on the outside of the circle. We’re gonna curve up and
down, creating an S curve, almost like a question mark shape. And the same thing on this side. He has a little tuft of fur
on the inside of his ears, and so we’re just gonna
draw the same curve as the outside mug handle
shape, just on the inside, very lightly. Now before we darken any of those lines, we wanna work on the cheeks. So I’m gonna start from below this fold in the ear right there, and just very lightly I’m
just gonna draw a little curve leaving the side of the circle, and then angling back in, and running down into the cheek. Just very lightly. So we’re gonna do the
same thing on this side, and then curving down to the chin, and just his jawline very lightly. Now that we have that in place, we know that we don’t want
to darken any of the lines that are going through the cheeks. So we can actually start
to go back over the ear, and once we get near the bottom we can add just a little piece of fur. Just to make him look especially fluffy. Add a couple of juts of fur on this side, and then we can get that
inside curve to the ear. Now for this little
different color tuft of fur on the inside of the ear, we wanna just make that very fluffy, so we wanna add lots of little juts of fur all the way around. And he has hairs on
the inside of his ears, so you’re really just
gonna make three hairs. All right, then we wanna
add fur to the cheeks. So we just follow this curve,
add some little pieces of fur, and then run down to the chin. Same thing on this side. You can always add a little
bit more on either side, maybe he slept on his face wrong and one side is smooth, the
other side is really fluffy? You never know. And then this area of the ear is darker, so you can use the side of
your pencil and fill that in. Always want to try to shade
in the shame direction. To finish up our Simba, we just have to finish
up the top of his head. So I’m gonna start just inside the ear, and start to trace back over the circle. Now once I get towards the top, we’re just gonna pull some
little pieces of fur out. Be really, really loose with it. Give him a little tuft of
fur on the top of his head. And then just go back
over some of those lines, and finish up this side of the circle. Now something’s missing, it’s very subtle, but it’s his whiskers. So let’s add the whiskers in there. We’re gonna start just
inside the face over here, and throw four whiskers
off this side, some lines, and he actually only
has three on this side. All right, so the last
thing you want to do is always sign your drawing. That shows whose masterpiece this is. Just so you remember when you drew it, always throw the date on there too. So you can look back as you progress, and see how you’ve improved
with every drawing. And there you go, you just drew Simba from the 1994 animated
masterpiece, “The Lion King”. And if you make it here to
Walt Disney World in Florida, come see me and the other
amazing character artists here at The Animation Experience
at Conservation Station. Maybe, we’ll teach you to draw one of your favorite characters. (upbeat guitar music)

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2 Responses

  1. Samantha merkulov says:

    I. Am. Sim. Ba

  2. Prashanth Kumar says:

    keep this coming.. i came across this disney channel and drawings few weeks back.. i started drawing as you start yours and went on to draw other characters like, chip n dale, talespin baloo, lauchpad, and others thanks for showing how to do this.

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