How to Draw an Octopus

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"I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade.He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus's garden in the shade."
- "Octopus's Garden," by the Beatles

The octopus is a fascinating ocean animal. The octopus has no bones, and it can contort its body into many shapes; for example, it can make itself long and skinny to fit through a tiny space. This animal is smart, too; the octopus can solve puzzles, such as unscrewing a jar to reach a treat, or finding its way through a maze.

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The octopus can change the color of its skin in order to blend in with its surroundings or display its mood. At times, you can even observe pulsing, changing colors on an excited octopus.

The octopus famously squirts ink in order to defend itself. The ink blocks a predator's view of the octopus, allowing it to escape, as well as covering the octopus' scent. What is octopus ink made out of? It is composed of melanin, the same pigment that tints your skin and hair. Some, such as Australia's blue ringed octopus, also have a venomous bite.

The octopus has been featured in art for a long time, including a stone carving from as early as 1900 B.C. Did you know? If you are talking about more than one octopus, three plural forms of the word are grammatically correct - octopuses, octopi, or octopodes.

Would you like to draw your own octopus? Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. You will need only a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a good eraser. You may also wish to have markers, crayons, colored pencils, or paints on hand, as many of these creatures are brightly colored.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Dory, Nemo, and Boat.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing an Octopus

How to Draw Octopus: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle to form the octopus's head.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 2

2. Extend two long, loosely "S" shaped curved lines from the circle. Allow the lines to be nearly parallel to one another, connecting at the end in a rounded point. This forms the first of the octopus' eight arms.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 3

3. Extend two more sets of nearly parallel curved lines from the the circle. You may allow one pair to overlap the arm from the previous step. Connect the lines at the end in rounded points.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 4

4. Erase the guide lines from where the arms connect to the body.


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How to Draw Octopus: Step 5

5. Extend two more sets of curved lines from the circle, allowing the lines to meet in soft points at the end. This forms the fourth and fifth arms.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 6

6. Draw three more sets of curving, wavy lines. Allow each set to meet in gentle points. Your octopus now has all eight arms.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 7

7. Erase the remaining guide lines from the arms.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 8

8. Draw small ovals down the length of each arm. The ovals should be slightly larger near the body, decreasing in size near the end of the arm. These ovals form the octopus' suction cups.


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How to Draw Octopus: Step 9

9. Draw two large ovals in the center of the head, with a smaller oval at the bottom of each. These ovals form the eyes, complete with pupils. In each pupil, draw a smaller oval and a small circle, highlighting the eyes. Shade the pupil. Beneath the eyes, draw a curved line with a short, curved line at one end. This forms the octopus' mouth.

How to Draw Octopus: Step 10

10. Color your octopus. In nature, octopi come in many colors, so be creative. Give your octopus some friends when you check out our other ocean life drawing guides, including Dory and Nemo from Disney's Finding Nemo (2003).

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The Complete Octopus Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Octopus

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