How to Draw a Squid

More than 300 species of squid roam the world's oceans. The smallest, the southern pygmy squid, is less than 3/4 inches in length when fully grown, while the giant and colossal squids may reach lengths of 43 feet or more. Until recently, such large squid were thought to be the stuff of legend. Now, they are known as the world's largest living invertebrates.

Are squid and octopus the same? Though similar, they are not. One distinguishing characteristic is the number of arms, or tentacles. Squid have ten arms, while octopus have only eight. Squid also have a hard inner shell that other cephalopods lack. Both have hard beaks and suction cups which they use to capture prey. Most also have the ability to squirt a dark, inky substance into the water, which they use to hide their escape from predators.

Squid have other interesting features, such as three hearts that pump blue blood due to the use of copper, rather than iron, to carry oxygen. Some squid are luminescent, meaning they make their own light.

Would you like to draw your very own squid? Doing so is easy and fun with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing guide. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use crayons, colored pencils, or other tools to shade your finished drawing.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing ​a​ ​Squid

1. ​​​​​Begin by drawing two curved lines. Note how the lines outline a bulging, rounded shape, but do not touch. This will form the body, or mantle, of the squid.

2. ​​​​​​​Enclose the body of the squid. At the top, draw two lines connect to the first. Angle the lines to form an incomplete teardrop shape, meeting in a point at the top. Notice how the original lines overlap into the teardrop. On the bottom of the body, connect the lines using a curved line.

3. ​​​​​​​​Next, draw the squid's eye. Draw a small circle just below the body. Then, outline the eye sockets by drawing a pair of curved lines parallel to the shape of the eye.

4. ​Begin to outline the squid's tentacles. Extend curved lines from below the eye, not yet connecting to any lines drawn previously.

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5.​ ​​Draw additional curved lines, outlining more tentacles. Note how no two lines curve in exactly the same way.

​6. ​Draw another curved line parallel to each tentacle. Allow the lines to meet in a point at the end. Notice that the upper end of each line connects to the tentacle beside it. At the end of one tentacle, draw small complete and partial circles, indicating suction cups.

​7. ​​​​​​​​​​​​Draw more tentacles, using pairs of curved, parallel lines for each. Draw small circles and partial circles to indicate suction cups on the end of the largest tentacle.

​8. ​Draw a few more tentacles emerging from between existing tentacles, using pairs of curved lines for each. Texture the tentacles by drawing dots and small circles.

9.​ Add the finishing touches to your squid. Draw short, curved lines to indicate creases in its body. Draw a smaller circle within the eye to form the pupil.

​10. ​​​Color your squid. Many squid are depicted as being red or orange in color, but in the wild, they can come in any color of the rainbow. In fact, squids' skin has special cells that allow them to change their colors and patterns.

 Would you like to draw more deep sea creatures? Check out our animal drawing guides for more fun tutorials, such as the whale, shark, fish, and seahorse.

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