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How to Draw a Humpback Whale

Easy, step by step Humpback Whale drawing tutorial
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"The sea is swelling,
growing deep. Quiet, for the
whales are singing, hush."
- "Whalesong," haiku poem by Lynn Nightengale

Whale watching is a popular tourist attraction in many parts of the world, and the vocal and curious humpback whale is often the main attraction. You can create your own whale watching adventure when you learn how to draw a humpback whale.

Humpback whales are huge ocean-dwelling mammals, weighing up to 40 tons. They live in groups called pods.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Though they are among the world's largest animals, as large as a bus, they eat some of the smallest - microscopic plankton and tiny shrimp called krill.

Humpback whales are known for their "songs." They croon haunting melodies to communicate with one another over long distances - hundreds of miles.

Sometimes, a song pattern becomes a "hit" and is adopted by one group of whales after another.

Did you know? Most whale watching is done from inside a boat, but a number of tours around the world allow travelers to swim with the whales.

Tourists describe seeing this massive animal emerge from the depths, looking them in the eye, as "the experience of a lifetime."

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Whale, Cartoon Shark, and Coral Reef.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 01

1. Begin by using long curved lines to outline the whale's lower jaw. Use one line for the top of the jaw, another for the bottom. Draw a short line at the corner of the mouth.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 02

2. Draw the whale's large eye. Outline the square shape of the eye using a series of curved lines. Shade a circle within the eye to indicate the pupil. Contour the upper and lower lids using curved lines.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 03

3. Extend a long curved line from the front of the mouth to trace the top of the head and back. Bend the line at the end to encompass the curved "V" shape of the small dorsal fin. This gives them their name, "humpback." Then, draw another curved line overlapping the end of the first.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 04

4. Extend a long curved line downward from the mouth, outlining the whale's belly. Then, use a series of overlapping curved lines to form the pectoral fin. Notice how one line doubles back upon itself, giving the tip of the fin a three-dimensional appearance.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 05

5. Use a curved line, wavy on top and doubled back upon itself, to enclose the remaining pectoral fin. Then, extend a long curved line from behind the first fin, completing the outline of the belly and tail.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 06

6. Draw the flippers of the tail or caudal fin. First, extend curved lines from the sides of the tail. Notice how the narrow portion of the tail extends beyond these lines. Then, connect the ends of the lines using two curved lines that meet in a sharp inward-facing point.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 07

7. Rib the whale's throat with curved lines. These folds of skin allow it to gulp large amounts of seawater and filter out its food - tiny krill and plankton. Then, draw curved lines above the flipper.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 08

8. Draw barnacles or bulges on the whale's mouth, erasing as necessary. Use a "U" shaped line for each bump.

Humpback Whale drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 09

9. Texture the whale's flippers. Use curved and wavy lines.

Complete Humpback Whale drawing
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step 10

Color your cartoon humpback whale. Whales are darker on top and lighter on the bottom as a form of camouflage. They blend in with the sunlight when creatures look from below, and with the dark ocean water when creatures look from above.

What color are humpback whales? Their backs are grey or black, appearing blue in the water. Their undersides are cream or white. A few whales are famously solid white!

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The Complete Humpback Whale Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Humpback Whale - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Humpback Whale Step by Step Tutorial Image

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