“Unicorns are real. The mermaids told me.” - Anonymous
According to the American Journal of Applied Sciences, unicorns existed. The fossil of a creature known as the Siberian unicorn that died out around 29,000 years ago was discovered. While this was far more like a rhinoceros than a horse with a horn, scientists discovered that it was around for longer than they’d previously thought.
But what would a “real” unicorn look like?
Here’s how to draw unicorns as they exist in our imaginations.
Learn to Draw a Horse First
While the mythical unicorn is surrounded by wonder and mystery, it’s essentially a horse with a horn. Whether you like the look or the idea of it more, you still have to start by drawing a horse.
You won’t be able to draw a unicorn if you can’t draw horses. You need to be aware of the proportions and scale so start by drawing a couple of circles as construction lines for the horse’s cheeks. Now you need to place the ears, ears, and nostrils.
If you learn how to draw an excellent horse, you’ll just have to learn how to draw the horn. If you want to teach yourself how to do this, there are guides, tutorials, and books you can use to help you. From there, turning a horse into a unicorn is pretty easy.
You could also learn how to draw horses and unicorns in an art or drawing class.
In any case, there are plenty of resources out there to help you draw a horse with a horn.
How to Draw a Unicorn
To draw better unicorns, you’ve got to go step by step. You could spend days drawing one.
Draw the Unicorn’s Head
It’s a good idea to start with the head. First, calculate the proportions. It’s much easier to draw the body relative to the head.
To draw the head, do the same as you would with a horse and draw two circles for the cheeks. Next, draw the horse’s mouth. Pay careful attention to this part. A horse’s head has various muscles running along the jaw.
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Drawing the Muzzle, Eyes, and Ears
Once you’ve got the main shape of the head, you need to place the ears. A unicorn’s ears are on the top of its head, much like a horse. They’re curved with a pointed end.
Now you need to place the ears, ears, and nostrils.
Draw the Unicorn’s Horn
Without the horn, you’ve drawn yourself a horse.
Unicorn horns usually resemble a seashell or a whorl. To draw it, you can start with a long thin triangle. Next, you have to draw the markings and shape of the horn.
You can do this with simple diagonal lines along the length of the horn. This will help give the horn some depth. In some ways, drawing a unicorn’s horn is like drawing rope.
Drawing the Unicorn’s Mane
Much like a horse, a unicorn has a mane. This can be used to give your unicorn some personality. It can be almost any length and colour you like. You can construct this with zig-zags emanating from the back of the horse's neck. As we said, unlike a horse, a unicorn’s mane can be any colour or every colour!
Drawing the Unicorn’s Body
If you’ve taken your time and carefully followed the necessary steps, you should have a beautiful unicorn head drawn. You can either leave it at that or finish the drawing with the unicorn’s body.
Start with a large oval for the unicorn’s body. You can add details and depth to the body using lines or shading.
Draw the Unicorn’s Legs
Once the body’s finished, you can draw the unicorn’s legs. Much like with a horse, a unicorn’s legs protrude from the body towards the ground. With the legs, pay attention to the musculature of the upper legs. The hooves can be drawn as simple lines.
Don’t Forget the Tail
Don’t forget to draw the unicorn’s tail in a similar way to the mane. Again, you can use this feature to give your unicorn personality.
How to Draw a Realistic Unicorn
What even is a realistic unicorn?
Drawings of unicorns for children’s books, for example, tend to be quite cartoony and would look out of place in the real world. A realistic unicorn wouldn’t look out of place in the real world. In this case, you’ll want to use horses or pictures of real horses as a reference. The internet is a great resource for reference material. There are even plenty of YouTube video tutorials.
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Realism comes with detail. Start by adding detail using light and shadow. The curvature of the animal’s body and muscles need to visible.
Similarly, ensure that you’ve included the finer details of your unicorn’s eyes, ears, and horn.
YouTube Tutorials for Drawing Unicorns
In the internet age, why not make the most of online video tutorials?
These are quick and easy guides you can follow at your own pace by pausing or rewinding the video. There are thousands of tutorials for all levels. Generally, start with the simpler tutorials and work your way up with practice.
Finding Inspiration for Your Unicorn
Every artist needs a source of inspiration. Whether it’s a landscape, a photo, a still life, or something else, every creative person needs that spark. Inspiration is at the heart of the creative process, which includes drawing. To get better at drawing, it’s important to be open to any kind of inspiration.
A lot of artists head over to social media to look for inspiration. On Facebook, you can join drawing groups. You’ll see work done by other artists that can serve as your inspiration. Instagram is also great for visual inspiration. Use hashtags to find unicorn drawings. Finally, Pinterest is a popular place for those looking for inspiration.
Of course, social media isn’t the only place where you can find inspiration. You can find inspiration from fantasy films and television series. While you don’t need to copy the unicorn from a particular film or series, you can get inspiration from them.
Drawing books may also be a good source of inspiration. Some books will provide you with a lot of reference material.
Finally, be open to experimenting with different media and materials such as pencil, pen, coloured pencils, felt-tip pens, pastels, watercolours, charcoal, etc.
Just make sure you enjoy drawing your unicorn!
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Group tutorials are an excellent option for those on a budget as the cost of the tutor's time is shared amongst all the students in the class. This does mean the sessions won't be completely tailored to you, but you will have the opportunity to compare your work to the other students and learn from each other.
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