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How to Paint a Zebra on Canvas I Step-by-Step

Creating a Zebra acrylic painting for the first time? Follow these easy steps!

By Artist  Pauline Roods

This tutorial will show you how to paint a zebra in acrylics! We'll go over the basics of painting a zebra- from the pattern of the stripes to the shape of the animal's head and body. We will walk you through from start to finish- so you can see what it takes to create a lifelike animal painting of a zebra.

Download the zebra pattern and make your personalized masterpiece. All you have to do is trace the design and follow the easy steps below. Are you new to painting with acrylics? That's great! Click here for a printable PDF with instructions on how to complete this DIY project.


On the back of your printed template sheet, follow

the outline of the image, then using a 6B graphite

pencil, shade the entire area ready to transfer the

design to the canvas. 

Once you completed shading, place the image

(template) on the canvas shaded side down.

Using the 2B pencil (or pen), trace the outside

(main zebra outline shape) “ONLY” onto your

canvas. Leave all stripe and shape details for a

later step. 


Using Derivan Acrylic Yellow Deep colour, begin

painting the main background area without

forgetting the side edges of the canvas. Try to brush

each coat as smooth as possible. The background

may require at least three coats. 

Paint the inside of the outline traced zebra

silhouette with Derivan Acrylic White. At least

three coats are required to obtain an opaque and

well covered result. This will be the base for your

zebra stripes and other details. 


Once these painted sections have thoroughly

dried, place the shaded image template back on

the canvas matching up with the painted zebra

silhouette and then trace all inside details onto it

Using Derivan Acrylic Black and a  ne and medium

size brush, carefully paint in the lines and  ll in the

zebra stripes including the mane and eye. Don’t

forget to continue painting the design over to

cover the canvas edges as well.