How to Draw a Cartoon Dinosaur

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Dinosaurs have long excited the imaginations of children and adults alike. It was during the 1600’s that dinosaur fossils were first recognized as being something entirely different from any animal alive today. Then, scientists thought the bones might have belonged to giants. And giants they were, but of the reptilian and birdlike variety. The word “dinosaur” was first used to describe these creatures in the 1840’s.

Long-necked dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Brachiosaurus have been the starring characters in many animated cartoons. Little Foot from The Land Before Time and Arlo from The Good Dinosaur are among the most popular.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Would you like to be able to draw your very own cartoon dinosaur? Now you can, by following this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial. You will need only a pencil or pen and a piece of paper. You may also want to acquire an eraser and something with which to color your finished drawing, such as markers, crayons, or colored pencils.

Each step of this drawing guide is accompanied by a picture. In each picture, new marks made in that step are highlighted in blue, while lines from previous steps are shown in black. You will be erasing some of your early lines as you go along, so sketch lightly at first.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Cobra, Cartoon Snake, and Rat.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Dinosaur

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 1

Begin by drawing a circle.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 2

Draw two curved lines in the interior of the circle along the outside line. This will form the dinosaur’s eye ridge.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 3

Draw another curved line, beginning within the circle, passing beyond it, and ending as a nearly enclosed shape. Draw a small curved line at the end of this line. This shape will form the upper portion of the dinosaur’s mouth.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 4

Draw a nostril above the mouth using a short, curved line. Form the lower part of the mouth using two curved lines.

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How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 5

Erase the guide lines formDraw the neck using two long, parallel curved lines.ed by the original circle.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 6

Draw the neck using two long, parallel curved lines.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 7

Draw a larger circle to form the body.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 8

Draw the front legs. Each leg consists of two sets of parallel, curved lines. As you sketch the legs, allow the strokes of your pencil to overlap, giving the legs the texture of baggy dinosaur skin.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 9

Connect the leg lines on the bottom using a curved line for each. Draw toes by making several upside down “U” shaped lines.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 10

Erase the guide lines left from the circle of the body.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 11

Draw the rear legs using overlapping curved lines. Connect the leg lines at the bottom using a smooth, curved line.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 12

Erase guide lines from the rear legs.

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How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 13

Draw toes on the rear feet, using upside down “U” shaped lines. Add detail to the knees and ankles by drawing horizontal curved lines.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 14

Draw the tail using long, curved lines. The lines will curve in an “S” shape and meet in a point at the tip.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 15

Erase the lines where the foot overlaps the tail.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 16

Add detail to the neck and belly. Draw two curving, parallel lines down the center of the neck. Continue the belly line behind the legs and down the tail.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 17

To draw the eyes, sketch two large circles above the mouth. Allow a curve to extend slightly from the top of the circle, giving the eyes depth. Draw the right eye ridge using a curved line.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 18

Draw a nostril using two curved lines. Draw another curved line within the open mouth.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 19

Add detail to the eyes. Draw three successively smaller circles within the eye circles. Shade the middle circle, leaving the smallest uncolored.

How to Draw Dinosaur: Step 20

Color your dinosaur. We often imagine dinosaurs as being green, but in truth, we really don’t know what color dinosaurs were. Would you like to color your dinosaur pink, orange, or blue? With stripes or polka dots? Get creative!

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