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How to Draw an Elephant

Easy, step by step Elephant drawing tutorial
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Elephants are the largest animal that lives on land. Only certain whales and sharks are larger. You can learn how to draw an elephant in a realistic cartoon style with the help of this drawing tutorial.

Did you know? There are two species of elephant, the African elephant and the smaller Asiatic elephant. Interestingly, you can tell them apart by the shape of their ears. African elephants have ears that are shaped roughly like the continent of Africa, while Asian elephants have ears shaped roughly like India. These are divided into subspecies based on where they live and their habits.

Elephants have captured our imaginations as fictional characters, too. Disney's Dumbo is perhaps the most famous. Others include Dr. Seuss's Horton, the elephant troops of The Jungle Book, Tarzan's Tantor, Babar the elephant, and George of the Jungle's pet elephant, Shep.

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As you use your hands to sketch this illustration, give thought to the amazing "hand" that the elephant itself uses - its trunk.

Elephant trunks have around 150,000 units of muscle, and the tip of the trunk is as sensitive as your fingertips.

They use their trunk as a snorkel while swimming, like a straw to bring water to their mouths, as a tool to defend themselves or knock down trees, and as a hand to pick up small objects or caress their young.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Lemur, Lion Roaring, and Hyena.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing an Elephant

Elephant drawing - step 1
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 01

1. Draw a long curved line to form the top of the head and the front of the trunk. Outline the triangular shape of the eye using curved lines, then shade the round pupil inside. Detail the skin above and below the eye with curved lines.

Elephant drawing - step 2
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 02

2. Use overlapping curved lines to sketch the trunk, mouth, and jaw. Notice the tusk overlapping the trunk. To draw the tusk, extend a curved line from just in front of the mouth and double it back upon itself.

Elephant drawing - step 3
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 03

3. Complete the trunk using a long curved line. Note the “C” shape of the prehensile tip of the trunk. Then, enclose the ear using a long curved line.

Elephant drawing - step 4
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 04

4. Enclose the remaining ear and trunk, using a curved line for each. Detail the ears with curved lines, and use another curved line to begin sketching the elephant’s chest.

Elephant drawing - step 5
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 05

5. Draw the foreleg. Use a pair of roughly parallel curved lines that form a loose zigzag shape. Connect them at the bottom with a curved line. Use “U” shaped lines to indicate the toenails.

Elephant drawing - step 6
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 06

6. Draw the rear leg. Again, use a pair of curved lines and connect them at the bottom. Detail the toes with “U” shaped lines. Connect the tops of each leg with a curved line, forming the belly.

Elephant drawing - step 7
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 07

7. Draw the remaining foreleg. Use curved lines and connect them at the bottom. Then, extend a long curved line from the ear to the top of the rear leg to enclose the body. Detail the shoulder and hip with curved lines.

Elephant drawing - step 8
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 08

8. Use a curved line to enclose the remaining rear leg, partially hidden behind the first. Draw the toenails on both the front and rear legs. Extend two curved lines from the back of the body and allow them to meet at a point, forming the tail.

Use curved lines that meet at jagged points to enclose a tuft of hair at the tip.

Elephant drawing - step 9
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 09

9. Color your cartoon elephant. Elephants are usually brown or grey.

Complete Elephant drawing
Elephant step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 10

Elephants travel in groups called herds. Repeat the steps above to draw a whole herd of elephants, and don't forget to put the baby elephants in the middle!

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The Complete Elephant Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Elephant - all drawing steps
how to draw an elephant step by step tutorial image

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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