How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a realistic African elephant step by step from scratch. This tutorial is ideal for beginners. You’ll learn how to plan the pose, how to achieve the correct proportions, and how to add all the body parts and their details. It’s not as difficult as it seems!

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

1. How to Sketch an Elephant’s Pose

Step 1

Sketch an oval. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 2

Attach a vertical oval to it, slightly higher.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 3

Place two slanting lines on the shoulders and the hips.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 4

Draw the ground. It should be about the “shoulder” length long.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 5

Sketch the position of the legs without paying too much attention to their anatomy.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 6

Add the general shape of the head.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

2. How to Draw a Simplified Skeleton of an Elephant

Step 1

Draw the width of the feet on the ground.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 2

Sketch the actual anatomy of the legs; the joints and the direction of the bones. Elephants have very straight legs, and they walk on their fingertips.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 3

Draw flat cushions under the feet.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 4

Draw a cross on the face, keeping in mind that it’s seen in perspective.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 5

Draw the eye sockets.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 6

Draw the forehead.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 7

Draw the cheekbone and the base of the ear.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 8

Draw the tusks.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 9

Draw the direction and length of the trunk.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 10

Draw the direction and length of the tail.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

3. How to Draw an Elephant’s Body

Step 1

We have the basic skeleton, so now it’s time to add some body to it. Draw circles above the feet, in the place of wrists and ankles.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 2

Draw “cups” under them.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 3

Draw big muscle masses in the forearms and thighs.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 4

Sketch the position of the hips.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 5

Draw two mirrored ‘9’s for the ears. They can cover the shoulder.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 6

Close the shape of the ears.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 7

Draw ovals inside ovals to create the basic sketch of the eye.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 8

Sketch the brow.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 9

Draw the width of the trunk all along its length, and then outline it.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 10

Do the same with the tusks.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 11

Add more detailing shapes to the face.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 12

Sketch and outline the tail.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 13

Outline the legs, going around the defining shapes.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 14

Outline the whole body.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 15

Add the elbow.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

4. How to Finish the Drawing of an Elephant

We’re going to draw the final lines now. If you’re drawing traditionally, use a darker tool for them, or put a new sheet of paper on top.

Step 1

Draw the little dark eye and the wrinkles around it.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 2

Outline the head and ears.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 3

Outline the tusks.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 4

Add details to the trunk.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 5

Add details to the face.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 6

Add the toenails. African elephants have four nails on the front feet and three on their back feet, but they’re not all seen in this view.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 7

Outline the body, drawing big wrinkles here and there to show how thick the skin is.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by StepHow to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 8

Add more wrinkles all over the body to create a texture of the skin.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Step 9

If you want, you can shade the elephant with simple cross-hatching.

How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step

Good Job!

You did it! If you want to learn more about elephants, for example how to draw the Asian elephant, check out my detailed tutorial below:

  • How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step
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    How to Draw Animals: Elephants, Their Species and Anatomy
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How to Draw an Elephant Step by Step