Step-by-Step Guide: How to Draw a Monkey

Most often found leaping across tree branches in rainforests around the world, monkeys are primates, which means that they’re members of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals alongside humans and apes. These cheeky creatures are social butterflies with heaps of personality, which is why in this blog, we’ll be giving you step-by-step instructions for drawing your own cute but realistic monkey. From getting the features right to learning some fun facts, this guide covers it all.

What will I need?

You’ll only need a few things to create your monkey drawing, making it the perfect way to pass a few hours at home during school holidays or at the weekends.

You’ll need the following:

  • Paper
  • Black marker
  • Colouring pencils/pens
  • Eraser

How to draw a monkey in 7 easy steps

Now that you have everything you need to hand, you should be ready to leap into our step-by-step tutorial for drawing a common monkey!

Step 1: First, we’ll start by drawing a circle for the head, bringing it to a slight point at the bottom in the middle. Next, add a small oval in the centre for the nose and add curved lines as shown inside the face to help with differentiating the colour markings later.

Step 2: On the left and right side of the head, add a curved line with a smaller curved line inside for the monkey’s ears. Finish off the head by drawing two black ovals with small white dots in the middle section of the face for the eyes and a line coming down from the nose alongside a curved line for the smile inside the lower section of the face.

Step 3: For the body, draw a pear-like shape using curved lines from the bottom of the head, making sure it curves at the bottom. Add a similar curved shape inside the outline of the body to help you define the monkey’s colour markings later.

Step 4: Add a long, curly tail to the right-hand side of the body by drawing two swirly lines that meet at a point. By now your monkey should be taking shape!

Step 5: Now it’s time to add the arms & legs! As shown in the video, draw 4 curves pointing upwards towards the top of the body for the arms and repeat this process at the bottom of the body for the legs, making sure these lines curve downwards.

Step 6: Add the hands and feet to the end of the arms and legs with a few lines to show the fingers & toes. Between the feet and legs and arms and hands, draw jagged lines to represent the monkey’s fur.

Step 7: Finally, add a vine for the monkey to hang from and colour in your drawing to finish it off! Use a brown shade to colour in the majority of the body and the top part of the head and ears, then use a beige or tan colour for the remaining areas. Also, don’t forget to colour your vine in with a green pencil.

Advanced: How to draw a common marmoset

Feeling more adventurous with your drawing skills? Don’t worry – you can swing straight into our advanced step-by-step tutorial for drawing your very own common marmoset!

This species of monkey has striking features such as the transverse markings on their tails and backs, alongside their long, sharp claw-like fingers. Follow along with the steps in the video below to bring yours to life.

8 facts about monkeys

Ready to go bananas over some exciting monkey facts? Here are 8 of our favourites…

  • There are around 200 different monkey species in the world, including common marmosets, baboons and mandrills. The different species also belong to various groups. For example, common marmosets are a type of New World monkey.
  • Monkeys use their long tails for balance when leaping and jumping from trees.
  • Like humans, monkeys have their own set of unique fingerprints and opposable thumbs.
  • Because of their primate classification, monkeys are extremely intelligent. Their IQs are often similar to that of a human toddler!
  • Although we associate monkeys with eating bananas, their diets are actually much more varied and include a wide range of fruits, vegetables, rodents, birds, tree bark, leaves and flowers.
  • A group of monkeys is referred to as a troop.
  • Monkeys will engage in grooming rituals to communicate with one another which is why you’ll often see them picking and poking at each other!
  • Some species, such as the common marmoset and Japanese macaques have unique colourings and features that help you spot them. For example, the marmoset has severe transverse striping while this type of macaque has a bright red face.

If we’ve got you hooked on drawing our cute creatures, we’re sure you’ll love our tutorial for drawing a polka dot stingray too!

We hope you’ll come along and visit our marine animals here at Tynemouth Aquarium soon! Book your tickets in advance for an incredible day out.

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