How to Draw a Cartoon Dinosaur
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.
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.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing
a Cartoon Dinosaur
Begin by drawing a circle.
Draw two curved lines in the interior of the circle along the outside line. This will form the dinosaur's eye ridge.
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.
Draw a nostril above the mouth using a short, curved line. Form the lower part of the mouth using two curved lines.
Erase the guide lines formed by the original circle.
Draw the neck using two long, parallel curved lines.
Draw a larger circle to form the body.
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.
Connect the leg lines on the bottom using a curved line for each. Draw toes by making several upside down "U" shaped lines.
Erase the guide lines left from the circle of the body.
Draw the rear legs using overlapping curved lines. Connect the leg lines at the bottom using a smooth, curved line.
Erase guide lines from the rear legs.
Draw toes on the rear feet, using upside down "U" shaped lines. Add detail to the knees and ankles by drawing horizontal curved lines.
Draw the tail using long, curved lines. The lines will curve in an "S" shape and meet in a point at the tip.
Erase the lines where the foot overlaps the tail.
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.
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.
Draw a nostril using two curved lines. Draw another curved line within the open mouth.
Add detail to the eyes. Draw three successively smaller circles within the eye circles. Shade the middle circle, leaving the smallest uncolored.
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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