How to Draw an Elephant

all images by A. Hermitt

Drawing an elephant is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, with a few simple instructions, you can draw an elephant both from the front and from the side. You can use this easy tutorial to teach children to draw elephants or to draw them yourself and to make illustrations and decorations for children. Here are instructions on how to draw an elephant.

Draw a circle on the page to represent the head. Your circle does not have to be perfectly round. In fact, and imperfect circle will make it more realistic.

Draw a trunk downward from the center of the circle. You will notice that the lines in the image are curved and swerve to the side. At the end of the trunk is a curved line so that it looks like the end of a realistic trunk. Erase the lines that intersect at the bottom of the circle.

Draw large elephant ears at each side of the circle. The lines will start at the top of each side of the head and circle around to the trunk just below the head. Notice how the ears curve inward in the center and are not simple fan shapes.

Draw two front legs on either side of the trunk. They are basic rectangles that are wider at the top than the bottom. The lines of these legs can also be imperfect and a bit wavy. When you are more experienced you will want to draw back legs that peek out in between the front legs and that are shorter to give the illusion of distance.

Add details such as eyes tusks, curved lines on the trunk and the toes. You can use shading techniques to make the elephant look more realistic. This is done by coloring the elephant with a pencil making it darker on the edges and/or on one side.

Draw two intersecting circles. You will draw a large circle for the body, and a smaller circle to the side and slightly above for the head.

Draw the feet by adding four curved rectangles at the bottom of the large circle. The bottom of each rectangle is curved so that they look more like feet. Erase the part of the circle that intersects with the outside feet. Also erase the part of the back legs that are above the body of the elephant. You will be erasing a large portion of the back legs, but it is important to draw them in for reference.

Add the ears in the form of curved triangles. They should start near the middle of the head, and end outside the head as shown in the image. Erase the lines on the far side of the head that overlap with the circle. Erase the part of the circle beneath the second ear and the point that is inside the circle.

Draw the tail, the trunk, tusks and eyes. Also, add foot and leg details as shown in the photo. The result here is a cartoon elephant. If you look the picture of a real elephant, you can draw in wrinkles and other details that makes your elephant look more realistic.


  • The only way to get good at drawing elephants is to practice