How To Draw A Dolphin


Isn’t it strange? When I started to draw a dolphin I’ve got similar feeling like when I was drawing an elephant.

No doubt that both animals are highly intelligent. There is some special aura around them, even if you just draw them on a paper.

Some people still have tendency to compare dolphins with sharks although we all consciously understand that dolphins are totally different species.

My guess is that this is caused by similarity in shapes of dorsal fin and pectoral fins (AKA: pectoral flippers)

If you could see only the tails of both; dolphin and shark, the difference would become clear immediately.

Shark’s tail fin (AKA: caudal fin) is shaped vertically while dolphin’s tail fin (AKA: tail fluke) is horizontal.

When shark swims below the water level you can easily see both dorsal and caudal fins at the same time.

Dolphins can show only dorsal fin if they swim right below the water level. Horizontal tail fluke remains under the water level.

Today we will draw a dolphin in one of its most natural motion - jumping.

Before you begin to draw this jumping dolphin take a little time and observe your object.

Here You Go, Start To Draw A Dolphin


click the image to enlarge

Comparing to the previous exercises of shark drawing. or fish drawing., dolphin drawing is a bit different.

I picked this jumping bended body position purposely, to make the drawing process a little bit difficult and thus a good drawing exercise.

click the image to enlarge

Hold your pencil loose or tilted and sketch the approximate outline contour of dolphin’s body.

click the image to enlarge

Sketch the fins in the following order: Start with the dorsal fin if possible and sketch the pectoral flippers as last.

I recommend this sequence because it helps you to capture best total balance when you draw a dolphin.

Observe well the length of dolphin’s distinctive beak. Compare the length of the beak to the head.

Pay a little more attention to this important detail. We are drawing a bottlenose dolphin.

click the image to enlarge

As every animal has its feature, what makes dolphin look like a dolphin is mainly its rounded head, distinctive beak and a smiling expression.

We can call it the dolphin’s face. If you work diligently on this one detail, the rest of the dolphin drawing will be very easy.

On the contrary, if you cannot capture well the face expression, your dolphin drawing despite your great effort will not resemble much to a dolphin.

It is perfectly OK if you practice drawing only the head on a separate paper first.



click the image to enlarge

Draw sharper pencil line over the initial body contours marking out the finalized shape.

Gradually begin erase all unnecessary and excess pencil cluster.

Draw clear pencil line but not too strong in case you need to make some corrections that you will probably do. Outline the mouth opening and draw the eye.

Pay special attention to capture good balance of eyes and mouth. Now you have your dolphin drawing virtually ready.

The following is coloring.

click the image to enlarge

Hold your graphite pencil tilted and cover gently the body in grey. The opposite side pectoral flipper is dark (in the shade).

Mark out the blowhole on dolphin’s head. Keep that in mind when you draw a dolphin or whale, because these animals have blowholes.

click the image to enlarge

You can use also grey colored pencil over the graphite pencil. It will create a good texture.

click the image to enlarge

Finally you can also add some – only very little and gentle touch – blue color over the basic grey layer.

Be careful when you shade the dolphin with blue color not to over saturate it.

Make a color-mixing test first on a separate paper or on the margin of your drawing sheet.

Blue color should be really just a delicate surface finish. Almost invisible.



Click Here To Check Out How To Draw Other Animals


Some Interesting Drawings


See Visitor's Newest Drawings

  1. Death Note: Ryuk Pencil Drawing

    Apr 24, 18 09:05 PM

    I wanted to draw a my favorite character out of an awesome anime, so I decided to invest in shaded pencils to try and bring him to life. Before this I

    See The Drawing

  2. My first Ink and wash flower (water Lilly)

    Apr 24, 18 04:23 AM

    Just some practice water color painting..

    See The Drawing

  3. Belle

    Apr 23, 18 04:18 AM

    There is really no story with this drawing but many people say I stole it... I published it on devinart and people kept telling me it was stolen. I deactivated

    See The Drawing

  4. Modern rhino

    Apr 23, 18 04:04 AM

    Best drawing

    See The Drawing

  5. Snowy Owl

    Apr 23, 18 03:23 AM

    I love owls and recently went to a sketching class and after a while felt confident to do this.

    See The Drawing

  6. A bird

    Apr 23, 18 03:20 AM

    I wanted to draw a bird so I did.

    See The Drawing

  7. Crossbowmen

    Apr 23, 18 03:16 AM

    Mongols invading stronghold.

    See The Drawing

  8. Nice girl sketch

    Apr 23, 18 03:11 AM

    Hope you like it.

    See The Drawing

  9. My First Drawing of Elephant

    Apr 23, 18 03:09 AM

    This is my first attempt to draw cartoon character called Appu..I like the cartoon character Appu who is an elephant.

    See The Drawing

  10. My latest drawing of Elvis Presley

    Apr 23, 18 03:06 AM

    Trying to get more realistic with my drawing

    See The Drawing


Return From Draw A Dolphin To Home Page