How to Draw a Cobra

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There are over 3,000 species of snakes in the world, but the king cobra is one of the most recognizable. King cobras can reach a length of 13 feet (4 meters), weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kg), and live for more than 20 years. They are famous for their ability to “stand up” – lifting their heads and one third of their bodies off the ground, often so far that they are nearly as tall as a full grown human. Cobras also extend a hood of skin around their heads, making them appear larger and more menacing.

Not only is this snake intimidating, but it is venomous as well. The venom released in a single bite can be enough to kill 20 people – and it can even kill an elephant. Despite its reputation, king cobras are often the snake of choice for snake charmers in Asia, where the motion of the charmer’s swaying flute entices the snake to “stand up” in its basket and “dance”

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

To draw your very own king cobra, follow this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a piece of paper and a pen, pencil, or marker. You may also want to acquire some shading tools, such as colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paints.

Each step of this drawing guide is illustrated with a detailed, step-by-step picture. In each picture, the new lines added to the drawing can be seen in blue, while lines produced in previous steps are in black. As you begin your drawing, sketch the lines lightly. You will need to erase some of the early lines, called guide lines, as you go along.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Bee, Horse Head, and Simple Dog.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Cobra

How to Draw Cobra: Step 1

Begin by drawing a small circle.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 2

Draw a curved line from one side of the circle to the other, extending beyond the bounds of the circle on the right side.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 3

Draw two curved lines extending from the left side of the circle.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 4

Erase the guide lines of the original circle.

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How to Draw Cobra: Step 5

Extend two parallel curved lines from the lower right of the figure. Connect the lines using a short, “U” shaped line. This forms the cobra’s forked tongue.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 6

Draw a long, curved line down from the tongue.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 7

Draw another long, curved line, descending from the back of the head.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 8

Draw a curved line extending from the line on the right, meeting the middle of the left curved line.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 9

Draw another, shorter curved line from the bottom of the left curve, circling to meet the middle of the left line.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 10

Draw a curved line extending from the right of the figure.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 11

Draw another curved line above the previous. From this line, extend another long, curved line.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 12

From the lower line of the body, draw a curved line.

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How to Draw Cobra: Step 13

Draw a loosely “M” shaped curved line from the top line of the body.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 14

Draw another curved line to match the previous, allowing the two lines to meet in a point.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 15

Draw a curved line down from the head, meeting the lower line of the body at the bottom of the neck.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 16

Draw another curved line from the head to the right side of the neck.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 17

To detail the belly, draw 17 curved lines across the center portion of the neck.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 18

Draw a curved line above the mouth, meeting the outline of the mouth on both sides. Draw a circle for the eye. Draw a smaller circle within the first, and shade the inner circle. Draw a curved line above the eye. Draw another curve above this one, connecting on each end.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 19

Draw irregular shapes of various sizes to detail the open flaps along the neck. Draw a number of irregular circles and ovals down the length of the body.

How to Draw Cobra: Step 20

Color your cobra. As a suggestion, shade the belly tan, the body light brown, and the spots dark brown.

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