Drawing Bats - How to Draw Bats for the Absolute Beginner

To have a good start in learning how to draw a bat or anything for this matter, you should know how to follow through the contour planes or dimensions of any basic shapes to effectively portray the subject. Observe how the lines should travel across the body of the figure, and how the depiction of texture follows the dimension. How you apply the shade also matters. It is also better to know the basic parts of a bat to identify if there is anything missing or wrong in your drawing.

Starting with a base, identifying the dimensions of the shape and adapting with it, is the key to effectively portray a bat. I will use a spotted bat as an example to show you the process

  • Establish the mass and proportions of the figure. Start with the oval shaped body and a sphere for the head. the folded wings are basically triangular, and the big ears of the spotted bat are basically bean-shaped.

  • Sketch the shape outline of the bat. Make a better depiction of the bat’s figure, use the base you’ve made to make sure that all parts are properly proportionate.

  • Re-establish the main outlines. Retrace the primary outlines of the figure with finer line marks, and then remove the sketch lines and any unnecessary markings.


  • Convey the contour dimensions of the figure by using soft shades. Use shades to initially define the dimensions of the bat. Convey the folds on the wings and the concave dimensions of the ears.

  • Convey the mid-tones. Make another layer of thin shading to establish a fair tone (not too dark and not too bright). This time, use a light gray  to apply a primary toning to the figure.

  • Start applying the primary colors of the figure. A spotted bat has a white body fur and a grayish pink flesh tone. You would be applying the colors with thin or light strokes since the figure already has a mid-tone and shades in it.

By only applying a thin layer with controlled and evenly light hand pressure on your strokes, the shades you previously applied should still be visible. 

You should establish a ground to complete the portrayal of a crawling bat. The main subject should stand out visually, so take note of the figure’s  tone value and color when choosing a tone for the background.

  • Convey the skin texture. Elaborate the details of the skin texture. The bold skin of the bat has speckles of grayish brown in it. 

  • Darken the tone of the wings and convey any other subtle details on the skin.  Just amplify the shading using light hand strokes or low opacity brushes.

Amplify the tones even further with a third layer of shading.

  • Convey the furry texture of the trunk/body with a couple of overlapping layers of consecutive short line strokes.

Add a background if you wish. Make the final retouches and work on the subtle details even further until you feel satisfied with it.

If you want to see more examples, with easy to follow step-by-step instructions and tips, then grab a copy of "Drawing Bats - How to Draw Bats for the Absolute Beginner". 


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