In this how to draw a kangaroo tutorial, you'll create in four easy steps (or hops?), Australia's best known icon.
The Kangaroo is a marsupial - which means when born it is tiny (about the size of a jellybean and much less developed than most other animals at birth. It develops over several weeks in the mother's pouch.
Looking at the adult male, it's hard to believe this tiny being could grow to be up to 110lbs (50 Kilos) of coiled spring and nearly six foot tall at five years old.
Even then it continues to grow - a fifteen year old male will be about 175 lbs (about 80 kilos).
Kangaroos are herbivores. They move around by hopping and have the extraordinary ability to use less energy the more they hop. Economies of scale I think they call it...
Their immensely powerful back legs can move them at between 20mph - 30mph, whilst they use their equally powerful tail to balance when hopping more slowly at about 5 mph.
One disadvantage of this big rear end is they can't walk backwards - well could you?
When fighting, they often use their tail to sit on, whilst holding an opponent with their short front legs and doing serious damage with the claws on their strong rear legs.
Don't ever upset a 'roo, I guess....
Whilst they are the worldwide icon of Australia, most Aussie farmers regard them merely as sheep-fodder-thieving, fence-wrecking pests.
Ah well! You can't please everyone...
Right! Enough of the wildlife lesson. Let's look at the kangaroo picture.
Here you can see all of the features I've just mentioned, with those rear legs and the tail especially prominent.
You can see from the basic shapes I've overlaid on this picture, how easy it is to get a rough but proportionally accurate outline of the animal.
Getting proportions correct is vital in giving you confidence when learning how to draw a kangaroo...
Moving on to stage 2 of how to draw a kangaroo, this is even more apparent as we remove the picture and leave the background shapes.
Of course the beauty of using basic shapes is you don't have to use the same ones as me.
Where I've used an oval, you may see it as an oblong or even a triangle and vice versa. No matter. It's what works for you that counts.
Moving onto Stage 3, we start to fill in a more accurate outline of the kangaroo.
Do this lightly in pencil (a bit darker than your basic guidelines, so you can see where you're working).
Once you're satisfied you've got the 'proper' shape right, you can go on to ink it up or go over the final outline in darker pencil.
Here we have the final stage in our 'how to draw a kangaroo' article. I've added some shadows using simple cross-hatching.
This gives the kangaroo a three-dimensional effect and also replicates the bright Australian light - essential in any drawing of the outback.
Underneath the kangaroo I've put in some darker lines to give the shadow effect on the ground. Always remember, the darker the shadows, the more you turn on the sunlight in your picture... I've also added a hint of the broad flat horizon together with an isolated tree to give a sense of space in the background.
In the foreground, a few flicks with the pen suggests long, wild grasses.
And there you have it - how to draw a kangaroo in its natural environment, in just four easy steps.