How to Draw an Alligator

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“See you later, alligator; after ‘while, crocodile.”
– 1950s rock and roll song by Bill Haley and His Comets

Alligators are large aquatic reptiles. There are two species of alligator, native to North America and China. Alligators are carnivores, often living in rivers or streams. Their dark coloration helps them to blend into muddy waters. Alligators can hiss and even roar.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Alligators are also good parents. They build a nest and lay up to 60 eggs. The temperature of the nest determines the gender of the young. The mother will look after the young for some time after they hatch.

Crocodiles and alligators look very similar; perhaps your drawing could pass for either. But do you know the difference between alligators and crocodiles?

To tell these animals apart, look at their snouts. Alligators have wide “U” shaped snouts, while crocodiles have narrow “V” shaped snouts. Also, all of an alligator’s bottom teeth will be hidden when its mouth is closed, while many of a crocodile’s lower teeth – especially the large fourth tooth – remain visible.

Would you like to draw your own alligator? This easy, step-by-step alligator drawing tutorial is here to help. All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and an eraser. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Husky, Ocean, and River.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing​ an Alligator

How to Draw Alligator: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing two overlapping ovals, one smaller than the other. These shapes will form the alligator’s head and body.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 2

2. Connect the ovals on the bottom using a curved line, at the same time outlining the alligator’s neck. Use a series of short curved lines to detail the top of the alligator’s head within the smaller oval. Notice the larger curves that form the alligator’s eye ridges.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 3

3. Use small, overlapping curved lines to form the top of the alligator’s snout, and a wavy line to form its underside. Then, use a long curved line to outline the bottom half of the alligator’s jaw.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 4

4. Extend two long, curved lines from the larger oval to form the alligator’s tail. Notice that the lines meet in a sharp point.

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How to Draw Alligator: Step 5

5. Extend another pair of curved lines from the tip and side of the tail, allowing the lines to meet in a sharp point. This forms a bend in the tail and gives it a three-dimensional appearance.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 6

6. Draw the legs. Use curved lines to outline the shoulder and hips, and well as the bent knees. Enclose the feet by using “U” shaped lines to form toes. At the tip of each toe, draw and shade a small triangle, indicating the claws.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 7

7. Erase the guide lines left by the original ovals.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 8

8. Detail the alligator’s face. Use a long, curved line to enclose the opening of the mouth. Within the mouth, enclose an irregular shape to form the tongue. Draw a line down the center of the tongue, and sketch in four triangular teeth. Use curved lines to detail the nostril, the corner of the mouth, and the top of the snout. Enclose a rounded shape for each eye. Draw a circle to form the pupil, and a smaller circle within it. Shade between the two circles.

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How to Draw Alligator: Step 9

9. Texture the alligator’s body. Rib the belly with curved lines, and adorn the back and tail with ridges of shaded, triangle-shaped spikes.

How to Draw Alligator: Step 10

Color your alligator. Most ‘gators are green, brown, or grey in color. Baby alligators are black and yellow striped.

Give your alligator a place to live, such as a river or the beach. Be sure to check out our other animal drawing guides.

The Complete Alligator Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Alligator

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