How To Draw An Elephant

I hope that my simple guide of how to draw an elephant may contribute a little to elevate the consciousness about this beautiful animal.

What is the difference between seeing animals in pictures and drawing animals?

Drawing animals makes you more conscious about their existence and beauty.

Drawing them by pencil on the paper makes you totally involved and participating on the process of creation.

Don’t you think that it’s incredible?

Let’s take a quick look at this elephant drawing.

Please keep in mind that it is a finished drawing. It may look like too complicated with its wrinkles, shades, etc.

Please ignore such details for now. We shall come back to these later during the drawing process.

Now just let me guide you and you’ll see to your own amazement that you can actually draw even better elephant than this one.

click the image to enlarge

You can print out this picture after enlargement and refer to it while drawing.

I would however encourage you, to draw this elephant directly from your computer screen.

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click the image to enlarge

Before you begin to draw an elephant, I would like you to concentrate on 3 main parts of the body.

Think of this elephant as a huge snowman consisting of 3 circles in horizontal position walking on four legs.

The only difference is that we will adjust the 3 circles that represent the body parts.

In your mind divide the elephant’s body into 3 main volumes. The biggest one is the belly, middle one is the part of elephant’s shoulders and the smallest one is the head.

Basically, when you capture these 3 volumes right, you’ve got the elephant’s body balance right.

click the image to enlarge

Basically, to draw an elephant is very simple, but it has a few tricky parts. Please observe the body well again. Compare the length of the legs to the rest of the body. Notice the angles of the legs while the animal walks.

This is a dynamic picture which means that the elephant is walking. Elephant is in motion.

The front legs extend directly from the middle – shoulder ellipse. Draw the outline contours of all four legs.

click the image to enlarge

Outline the head with the trunk and tusks. Make a rough outline sketch of the ear (only one of the elephant’s ears is visible).

click the image to enlarge

Gradually start erasing the initial circles, ellipses and join each part of the body into a one whole unit.

Do you realize that at this stage, you already know how to draw an elephant? You have almost perfect contours of an elephant’s body.

I say almost perfect, because there probably are some small details we are going to correct as we go.

click the image to enlarge

Gently refine the body contours and draw the tail. Before drawing the tail take a look at its length. Where does it come out of the body and where does it end?

click the image to enlarge

This is the stage where you should really draw the final body contours.

If you observe carefully, you easily notice that I slightly moved up the place (height) where the tusks come out from the head.

I made this change in order to re-balance the size of the head to the rest of the body.

Add the elephant’s eye. Enlarge the picture and see how the eye looks like. While you draw the eye, please leave the small highlight on the eye pupil.

Every living thing has such reflection of light in its eyes and it looks more natural. The highlight creates that spark in animal’s sight. It is very important feature of elephant’s individuality.

You can also finish your drawing here if you want, copy your drawing and make it a coloring page.

click the image to enlarge

It is time to observe carefully the wrinkles on the body. This part is a bit sensitive, because the direction of wrinkles often determines how each body part is shaped. It is good to keep this in mind while you draw an elephant.

It is not necessary to draw the wrinkles exactly as I did but you should direct them on your drawing roughly in similar directions.

Refer again to the readymade picture and sketch the body wrinkles.

  • Note:
  • If you encounter difficulties with wrinkles drawing, observe your own hand or stretched fingers and I think you’ll get the best idea. After all, we humans are animals too ;-)

    click the image to enlarge

    Now pay a bit more attention to the trunk. Elephant’s trunk is in fact a fusion of nose and upper lip – prolonged. It is in fact one of the most important body part.

    click the image to enlarge

    Begin to darken the body. Be gentle. Hold your pencil tilted in order to make wide and weak pencil strokes that will easily cover the body in gray.

    At the same time you can also put shades where applicable. Always refer to the readymade drawing.

    click the image to enlarge

    As the light comes diagonally from the upper left corner, it naturally cast shade on various parts of elephant’s body.

    Ear(s) shade is the largest and most visible. We also cannot forget about shades on elephant’s legs.

    Adding shades on any drawing gives it an instant plasticity. Shading gives the drawing a 3 dimensional look.

    I think your picture is ready at this moment and you gained enough confidence to draw an elephant - any elephant you choose.

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    Click HERE To Share
    Your Own ANIMAL Drawings

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    What Other Visitors Have Said

    Click below to see comments from other visitors to this page...

    This was really helpful especially as I used it to draw my own art homework 👍

    This one is again amazing. Great website, amazing drawings and this time no complaints! Thanks for it all! :-)

    This is an incredible and illustrative lesson! Thank you so much. It would have taken me weeks to figure out how to draw one of my favorite animals! …

    Wow, I can actually draw this! Thank you for all of the helpful tips and tricks

    This helped SO much!

    It's very interesting to make and pretty hard!!!!!....

    The eyes are so hard! Mine looks lifeless but the shading was really easy.

    I just drew this in about 10 mins , thanks

    its preety kard :)


    cool !!!! 


    Elephant Perfect 
    Thank you very much. Had to do a lot of erasing but I think my elephant is just about picture perfect.

    I think it is very good and helpful it Meade me draw a good elephant

    Retired teacher 
    Thank you. Excellent art lesson.

    This drawing of the elephant was easy at the begining, but got harder at the end. The hard part was basically the upper body to the left ( head, eye , …

    Thanks so much! 
    Your step-by-step instructions made something easy to do and great to look at. I first tried drawing an elephant on my own and completely FAILED. The one …


    I love the elephant, it's awesome-I mastered this first try!!

    Awesome Elephant! 
    I love drawing this elephant every time. Everyone gets amazed by my elephant. Whoever posted this elephant on this website, is awesome!!!

    thank you t make this page .without this page i will not able to complete my holiday homework.

    awesome and great

    Thanks man! Great help!

    awesome picture!(but why not a wolf?)

    Click here to write your own.

    this drawing is amazing and it's just what i was looking for

    awsome art! 
    well i am a artist myself and this elephant is so easy for me to draw. it seem like my art way like a duplacate of your who ever you are!:)

    its awesome but how would you draw a realistic baby elephant?

    This drawing is quick and easy as well as AWESOME !!!!!!!

    that was cool 
    elephants are cool but can you put daisy flowers please.

    loved it it helped question though how would you do a realistic baby elephant??

    High school art 1 student  

    Thank you 
    Amazing - I really didn't think I could draw, but this helped me produce something pretty good! Thank you!!

    i am an art student and this was so helpful! really impressed, thank you!

    Thank You!!!! 
    Thank you so much!!! I had to draw an elephant for a project and wouldnt have been able to without this tutorial. Thank you!!!!!!!!

    Beautiful and eloquent 
    I am amazed! I am a horrible drawer and with your help, my elephant came out great! Thank you for your time and effort.

    Mrs B 
    Your tutorials are brilliant, i love the way you help me do the drawings step by step. I do have a little ability to draw but following your step by step …

    Hello, This is beautiful! I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on how to draw an Elephants face.

    title says it all!

    I Think That It is very nice Picture.

    very cool 
    iam 9 and i like this cool drawing it is very easy to do it helped me put another drawing in my sketch pad.

    ultra real elephant!!! 
    this is an awesome drawing!! do you have other animals also? if not, you really should post was way toooo real!!! i've used it for my history …

    awseome drawing 
    you draw amazingly I have never seen any better drawings

    This drawing looks very nice and it helped me a lot. ;) Thumbs Up! ;)

    this is really good, mine isn't as good as that one but it isn't that bad! I'm really proud of my drawing. Thank u!!!

    Big Elephant.... 
    Thank u so much.......

    This is so cool!! I don't really know how to shade though, so it looks a little hard. But, I am excited to try!!

    I love this it awesome

    its amazing........

    Amazing Picture Ohh........... 
    Hi, Really very nice picture of this elephant. bcz my son school compitation i took this picture. very amazing. really so cute & pretty picture. Finaly …

    Click here to write your own.

    This was awesome! I am a horrible drawer, but my elephant turned out to be good :) It has a lot of steps which helped me when drawing it, and it's his/her …

    its amazing

    Not the best artist, the shading gives me trouble. But I like what I drew... for once.

    Thank you very much for making this site!!!

    Good Job 
    Simple steps but great results - tnx

    ohhhhh ahhhhhh 
    I love itttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

    Thank you!!! 
    Thank you very much for putting this up for people to see! I had to draw an elephant for a school art project and some bits I found tricky! But this explained …

    Ron T. 
    Thank you for putting the picture of the elephant on here, I do some small wood carving for myself and my daughter wanted an elephant with it's trunk raised …

    wow amazing i love it

    Love elephants, can't wait to try this out, this site's awesome, I've suffered from depression for 18 years, since I was only a child, I've recently started …

    Thank You! 
    Thank you for helping me learn to draw my favorite animal!

    Elephant Bonanza <3 
    Well that was pretty amazing. I find it extremely difficult to draw Elephants but, Thanks to your step by step guide - I have finally made it. Thank …

    woah , ive never been able to draw things like this but who ever maade this website up did it perfectly. they should make a book.

    think new 
    hi i'm nisha from chennai.i just love this drawing very much because this easy drawing sketches teaches us how to draw very idea is to draw in …

    amazing did this for my drama picture and everyone commented on it! it looks brilliant thank you so much! i was wandering if you could put a monkey and …

    Thank you 
    Wow! Your instructions really helped me. You're awesome

    My pretty elephat 
    I think it is pretty the way it is and think it the most wonderful animal I ever made.

    This program is so helpful it tells you what to do step by step i rate it 5-stars!

    Pat Kozakewich - Budding Artist 
    I find this site extremely helpful and it has taught me so much. Thank you for sharing.

    The Impossible now Possible 
    I tried other web sites but this is the best one ever.Thank you so much what, seamed impossible to me days ago, now is possible, I am drawing a real elephant,that …


    its not really the best you could add more detail more slides so we know yours is quick make it detailed

    I love this elephants are so cool. I wish i was a artist like this.

    elephant sketch 
    wonderful sketch in steps

    It is pretty cool :) :0

    Click here to write your own.

    aaaaaaaaaaaa cool

    lol i love it :) I LOVE ELEPHANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Elephant 
    Dear the Creators of this website; Well i thought it was good but the thing was i didnt get the shading if you get what i mean i found it quite hard if …

    omg thiz iz so awsome great tip, luv the elephant!

    This is a really easy way to draw an elephant that turns out great! Mine was good too so obviously the instructions were understandable. Really really …

    not really helping 
    sorry but this isnt working how i thought it would

    This is absolutley Stunning! I am 12 years old and I have so far drawn the skull, the all you need is love heart and the chinese dragon. I just drew …

    This is an amazing sketch !! Just... A m a z i n g ! Thanks for the help :)


    i think thats and amazing elephant drawing but i am a horrible drawer how long did it take for you to learn how to draw that

    what an elephant !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
    it's awesome! i love this sooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    mine came out looking cartoonish

    It was hard and ended up looking like a dog.

    Thank You 
    Omg i didnt think i could draw but my elephant turned out great!! thanks sooo much!! x

    the lesson 
    this lesson really helped a lot with drawing an elephants. i dont know what i would do. no other site has this much detail,and great lessons as this site …

    mis tic 
    the drawing is amazing. Thanks. It will really help with my project. What pencil did you use?

    cool elephant 
    wow this drawing is amazing i wish i can draw and be a artist but i can still draw some pictures and a bit of nature

    Great Job 
    It looks amazing. :)


    drew it 
    Came out good ty.

    this sketch is sooooo cool whoever drew is really talented! i think you should become famous!!!!

    wow. they should have these steps for all animals. i love animals, and i love drawing, so what do you think im always drawing? animals of course. this …

    Totally EPIC However, I think you guys and gals should show how to sketch people.

    no offense but.... its really hard to draw an elephant but i think it may have been along time for you to draw it but it a good picture.

    it is realy nice but it is hard.

    Click here to write your own.

    The magic broom stick??????????? 
    Was great way to learn to draw

    It is very helpful to me. this is very good place to learn drawing and shading.

    they are hard to draw

    this is one of the better 'how to' i've done. it's easy to understand and follow. THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME MAKE MY MOM A GREAT ELEPHANT!!:)

    i love it!!! it was so easy!! thanks again

    i use this picture every time I go to make a picture of an elephant and I think it is wonderful to use because I am an amazing drawer and this picture …


    The Elephant 
    The elephant looks beautiful,the textures and tones of the pencil strokes shadows and the shading is just brilliant. It really helped seeing the step by …

    Not Bad 
    I loved it until it started to get into shading i think you should have just left it at stage number 7 but other than that very cool and very nicely approached. …

    Good instructions 
    Instructions were good and easy to follow. I am terrible at drawing but my elephant looks good. Thanks for your help.

    I like it... 
    This was amazing. I like it we can make many pictures by this method.

    Click here to write your own.

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