Here is an easy step by step drawing tutorial that helps you learn how to draw a realistic elephant. This tutorial has 6 nailed steps as simple as possible appropriate for both beginners and more skilled artists. If you observe an elephant closely, you may notice this animal features a rather disproportional body, with thick legs, a massive head, a strong dexterous trunk and long tusks. So drawing a realistic African elephant can be a hard row to hoe. But, using our tutorial steps listed below, you can deal with it pretty easy. So grab your tools and let’s draw!
What You Need:
- Mechanical or graphite pencil
- Our Instructions
Learning to Draw a Realistic Elephant
1. Let’s begin by drawing the main body contours. First, sketch a large oval for the body and then draw a medium-sized circle for the head slightly higher. These objects don’t need to be perfect, they only form the basic shapes and are to be removed later. Attach two vertical ovals for the legs below the main oval. Draw two lines on the angle down to create the neck’s line.
2. Draw the trunk and legs. Drawing a trunk is actually the easiest step – you only need to sketch a curving line coming down from the head, then round it up slightly by a small circle – the latter helps you in keeping the proportions between the massive head and the trunk.
Then sketch an arch from the top of the head circle to the back – it would be the base of the ear. Round down the belly: an elephant looks usually very massive, so this line helps to avoid disproportion. Add the other two ovals for the legs.
3. Form the shapes. Outline the contours of the legs going in different directions sketching around the defining shapes. Round out the bend of the legs. Pay attention: the legs are NOT to be straight. The left leg should be slightly bended to give an illusion the painted elephant is walking.
Now it’s time to pay attention to the anatomy. First, let’s work out the feet – they only seem easy to draw, but it can be tricky to draw them realistically. Smooth out where the different shapes join avoiding a wrong ‘column’ look. Elephants have rather wide feet, so make the lower parts huge.
Then, keep in mind that elephants have a bumpy forehead. Using the initial arch line, draw the trunk. Then work with the original body oval and draw the rest of the body with curve lines.
5. Erase the excessive overlapping lines. Now add two tusks and a tail tracing the outlines. Keep in mind that you should draw the tusks curved and rather long. Detail the shape of the ear roughing the edges. The second ear is not all seen in this view. Don’t forget the oval-shaped toes – just add the letter ‘M’ on them. Draw the eye; pay attention that an elephant has small eyes located low in the head. Darken the center of the eye’s circle and add some wrinkles around it.
Now it’s time to touch up the skin. Remember, elephants feature thick, wrinkly skin – so add lines for twisty wrinkles on the trunk, belly, knees, and body to show how thick the skin is.
6. Shading and highlighting. Add some volume to your drawing. You need extra lines all over the elephant’s body. When shading, vary the pressure on the pencils to get distinct hues of tonal grade. Add simple cross-hatching all over the body to create a vibrant skin texture, but keep cross-hatching pretty light. You should detail the body, not focus at lines and wrinkles.
Done! Enjoy the result!
We hope you like this tutorial and found it pretty useful. If you have any questions let us know in the comment section below.