Mythical Creatures Drawing Demonstration: Kitsune

In Draw More Furries, Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges offer easy-to-follow anthro drawing tutorials by teaching you how to draw scalies and mythical creatures, as well as even more fun, furry friends. Haven’t tried your hand at drawing furries, yet, or you have, but you want to learn even more? Pick up a copy of their first book, Draw Furries and you’ll be drawing cartoon animals and hybrid humans in no time! Just follow the steps below to see how easy and fun they are.

Mythical Creature: The Kitsune, or 9-Tailed Fox

The mischievous kitsune is a multi-tailed mythical fox from Eastern folklore that possesses great wisdom and magical powers, such as shape-shifting. As they age, they gain additional tails and supernatural abilities. When they grow their ninth tail, their fur turns a golden sheen and they become kyuubi no kitsune (literally, nine-tailed fox). Ever the trickster, this anthro kitsune presents a challenge: draw her nine twisting tails without succumbing to confusion. Avoid mistakes by drawing them systematically, one at a time. You’ll overcome her nightmarish test and possess a beautiful kitsune drawing at the end, too.

1 Brainstorm Kitsune Design

Sketch ideas for your kitsune’s design, like some shifty eyes to hint at her devious disposition and a lithe pose brimming with foxy spirit. Dress her in garb inspired by Japanese kimono. To create a unique look, don’t be afraid to stray from traditional style. For example, try cutting off the sleeves, combining with a ruffled skirt or incorporating a modern pattern. Have fun with it!

2 Sketch the Kitsune’s Pose

Sketch a S-curved line of action. Draw the torso tilting forward, rib cage from a side view, like the thumbnail pose. Sketch a sphere for the head with an eye line indicating a downward tilt.

3 Build the Body Shapes

Fill out the kitsune’s head shape with large triangular ears, fluffy cheeks and a pointy fox snout. Draw her arms, with the left coming out toward us, and the right diminishing into the distance. Then draw the legs in a springy run, following the tilt of the line of action. Sketch each tail shape starting from the base of the spine and puffing out. Arrange them in a balanced fashion with the top tails over lapping the lower tails. To reduce confusion, you may wish to number the tails and erase overlapped  portions of the tails as you work.

4 Sketch the Kimono

Pencil the sleeveless kimono over the shape of her body with minimal folds or curves. Wrap an obi belt around her waist, then layer on accessories like wristbands, geta sandals, ties and bells. Finish the look with a cute ribbon around the base of her tails.

5 Add Details to the Nine-Tailed Fox

Detail the kitsune’s face with a smirk and a sly gaze. Give her a sculpted hairstyle; shade the underside to show volume. Suggest a furry body texture by drawing small jagged edges in select places, such as her elbows, cheeks, inner ear, heel, shoulders and especially her numerous tails. Refine the outfit details, adding braiding on the belt, and subtle folds in the fabric. Don’t forget claws on her fingers and toes. Erase your guidelines.

6 Finish With Color

The fur color of a nine-tailed fox is white or golden, while a kitsune with fewer tails are typically fox-colored (red, gray, black, white, etc.). Once you’ve settled on the fur color, select complementary colors for her outfit. Add shadows and highlights. Use jagged strokes to bring out the fur texture. Finally, paint a design on the kimono. Pay attention to the play of light, shadow and shape to integrate the details into the outfit.

Want to learn more about mythical creatures like the kitsune? Don’t stop with Draw More Furries. You can pick up copies of Dracopedia and DragonArt: Fantasy Creatures and learn all about how you can incorporate them into your comics and manga art.

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