How to Draw a Koala Bear-Fun & Easy Tutorial and Challenge

Artwork: Zebra Zensation Fineliners & Mechanical Colored Pencils in a Hahnemühle 1584 peach DotGrid notebook.

Challenge: Draw a Koala bear! You can use my step-out below or just draw one any way you wish!

First, I apologize because my scanner is having trouble with the right colors, so you’ll have to take my word for the colors in some of this tutorial.

If enough people give me feedback and indicate they are getting benefit from this tutorial, I’ll continue doing them, and may even try to do some videos. But those take time, so I won’t do them until I know there is reason to.

If you want a place to share your artwork (not just from my challenge or tutorials), I have a Facebook group Fun & Easy Artwork. It used to be Fun & Easy Landscapes, but it is now open to all kinds of artwork.

Now – the Koala step out.

For my example, I used one of the new Hahnemühle 1584 DotGrid notebooks that has a section of peach colored paper (the step-out was drawn on one of the DotGrid pages). I felt the peach was a nice base color for colored pencil drawing.

I used a Fineliner pen to draw the picture.

With a purple colored pencil, I lightly added the first layer of color. The method I used here is called squirkling. In essence, it is just scribbling in circles. It is a great way to blend colors, and adds an interesting texture for woolly fur.

Things to note:

  • I scribbled lightly
  • I left LOTs of open space
  • I colored the nose in lightly but no squirkling.
  • I colored the ears with straight lines, not squirkling
    • to show longer hair
  • I colored the darkest where there will be shadows
    • Under the head and ears,
    • under the furry part of the ears,
    • along the bottom

Okay, this looks like brown, but I squirkled some more with gray pencil.

Things to note:

  • I still left open space
  • I left lighter areas around the edges
  • I squirkled darkest next to the lighter areas
    • This kind of shading makes the figure look more rounded
  • I colored the nose darker at the edges and added white in the center
    • This gives the nose a different texture and highlight than the fur.

It’s hard to see in the scan, but I added white on the tummy and under arms & legs, around the eyes, nose and mouth and on the ears.

I used a violet red color to squirkle the tree trunk and a yellow green for the foliage.

Things to note:

  • I left lots of open space for added color later
  • I used larger squirkles- almost figure 8’s – for the trunk
  • I used larger squirkles in the lower bushes than in the upper tree

I wasted a lot of time trying to get true color, so I’ve skipped some steps in coloring the background. But it’s mostly the same kind of coloring, so I think you can figure it out.

I used a golden brown on the trunk, and this time I colored it in solid. Then I squirkled with the purple pencil that I used for the base on the koala.

I squirkled olive green on the foliage.

I used the purple to add the spots on the lower foliage. I wanted to add some interest without adding a lot of detail.

In the upper foliage, I added a repeated pattern of purple squirkling along each loop of the tree. It’s just a little half-circle of shading, but it creates texture and the feeling of depth among the foliage.

With white pencil, I squirkled a few clouds. I colored over some of the clouds later to give the sky more a stormy look.

Next a blue pencil was used for the sky, colored in strokes about an inch in length. I tried to keep the strokes going in the same direction. In some areas I used lighter pressure so that the sky wasn’t too monotone in color.

For my last step, I burnished. This means I used a light-colored pencil, and with heavy pressure, colored solidly over the other colors to blend and unify them. This is a common method, usually done with white or clear blender pencil. It should be done as the last step, as it is difficult to add any more color once done.

I used white to burnish the koala, and yellow-green for the foliage.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and go on to create many koalas of your own!

Remember, you are welcome to join my Facebook group Fun & Easy Artwork to share your work.


Hahnemühle 1584 (review) at:

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

Zebra Pen Zensations Sarasa Fineliner Pen

Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils

Published by Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

2 thoughts on “How to Draw a Koala Bear-Fun & Easy Tutorial and Challenge

  1. ok, I love the step by step instructions. I need to do more with my pencils and this gives me the kind of information I need. I have a project I need to do now that will probably involve pencils. and you know I love the koala. I’d love to see more of these. I am not so much a video watcher, I like the step by steps better. for myself. ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: