How to Draw a Beetle

Easy, step by step Beetle drawing tutorial
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The stag beetle or pinching bug describes about 900 species of beetles native to North and South America, Australia, Asia, and elsewhere. They are so named because their "elaborately branched and toothed mandibles" resemble the antlers of a stag or male deer. Most stag beetles are less than 2 inches (40 millimeters) long, but one species can exceed 4 inches (100 millimeters).

In Europe and North America, stag beetles are often the largest native bug. Only males carry the enlarged mandibles, which they use to wrestle over territory, females, or food sources. Most don't have the strength to pinch a human. However, they may bite with their chewing mouthparts.

Because of their beauty and perceived strength, stag beetles have long featured in artwork. Carvings in ancient Egypt often featured beetles, which were regarded as an object of worship. Pliny the Elder, an ancient historian, reports that the beetles themselves were worn as amulets. In recent times, they have appeared on the postage stamps of some countries.

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Would you like to draw a realistic cartoon of a stag beetle? This easy, step-by-step insect drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Ladybug, Bee Hive, and Hatchimal.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Beetle

Beetle drawing - step 1
How to Draw Beetle: Step 1

1. Begin by outlining the beetle's head. Use curved lines to enclose the irregular shape. Note the three bulges at the front of the head.

Beetle drawing - step 2
How to Draw Beetle: Step 2

2. Next, outline the thorax or midsection of the beetle. Use a long curved line to enclose the irregular shape.

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Beetle drawing - step 3
How to Draw Beetle: Step 3

3. Use a long curved line to enclose the irregular shape of the abdomen, leaving a small amount of space between the abdomen and the thorax. Connect the two body segments with short lines.

Beetle drawing - step 4
How to Draw Beetle: Step 4

4. Enclose half-circle shapes on the sides of the head to indicate the beetle's eyes. Then, contour each segment with curved lines at the edges. Notice, too, the curved line that spans the center of the abdomen. This indicates the opening in the beetle's shell that allows it to unfurl its wings.

Beetle drawing - step 5
How to Draw Beetle: Step 5

5. Draw the beetle's legs. Extend a curved line and double it back upon itself to form the first leg section for each leg. Then, extend another curved line and double it back upon itself. Finally, draw the beetle's foot. Extend a curved line from the bottom of the leg. Then, draw a jagged zigzag line to connect the opposite side to the leg. These serrations allow the beetle to grip and climb.

Beetle drawing - step 6
How to Draw Beetle: Step 6

6. Draw the legs of the opposite side. For each of the two leg sections, extend a curved line and double it back upon itself. For the foot, extend a curved line. Then, connect its tip to the leg using a jagged zigzag line.

Beetle drawing - step 7
How to Draw Beetle: Step 7

7. Draw the beetle's mandibles or pincers. For each, extend a long curved line from the front of the head. Then, use a series of curved lines that meet at gentle or jagged points to form the inner side of the mandible.

Beetle drawing - step 8
How to Draw Beetle: Step 8

8. Draw the palps, appendages near the mouth used for touch and taste. For each palp, extend a short curved line and double it back upon itself. Repeat this three times for each palp. Contour the mandibles with curved lines.

Beetle drawing - step 9
How to Draw Beetle: Step 9

9. Draw the antennae. For each antenna, extend a pair of curved lines from the side of the head. Connect them at the ends with a set of jagged lines.

Complete Beetle drawing
How to Draw Beetle: Step 10

Color your stag beetle. They come in many colors, including black, brown, and green.

Complete your insect collection.

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