How To Draw A Turtle


You’d certainly want to know how to draw a turtle if you’d vacation on Tropical Island. You see them in the sea, right around you. Turtles come so close to you that you can play with them.

They are such nice and gentle creatures that it makes you excited and you want to shout out how many new sea-friends you have. Sounds familiar?

Well, I am not at the seaside right now but I can tell you that I felt really great while making this turtle drawing.

I don’t know why but it was a very pleasant experience while drawing this sea picture.

Today, I show you a few easy to follow and even easier to do steps of how to draw a turtle. It is a sea turtle because we all like those and, I hope you’ll like it too.

Procedure is as usual; first click on the picture and enlarge it. It opens in new tab or window. If necessary print it out.



Sea Turtle

The first step of how to draw a turtle will be in carefully observing this turtle drawing for a while.

See every possible detail you are able to notice. It may be the shape of flippers – both are in different motion, or the scutes on the shell. See where turtle turns its head.

And please (!), do not be scared because this drawing may look too complex.The following steps will clearly demonstrate the opposite.



Let's Draw A Turtle

Draw a simple outline of the body contours. A simplest outline you can. Hold the pencil tilted so that the lines are wider (thicker) so you can cover inaccuracy.

See this body contour initial sketch! It is not exact at all and it is OK, I’ll correct it as we go. I am absolutely sure; you can make it even better for the first trial.

Here I made some slight corrections. I enlarged the shell a bit, but only a very little. Now, the pen-shaped-eraser comes handy to erase excessive pencil lines.

By a weak pencil line, draw the outline of scutes – those are large, scale-like structures on top of the turtle’s shell.

Now, notice that at this stage you’ve already learned how to draw a turtle.

All the rest looks like filling up a coloring-like page by graphite pencil, but you have ready the most important basic outline contours.



Similar as above, by weak pencil lines draw the scales on the flippers (front limbs) and, scales on the head.

Notice, that I made a weak pencil line running through the center of the head, which shows where the turtle is facing or swimming.

You can start to shade the scales on the flippers. Please leave a thin blank border-line among the scales. This small but important detail will give them a realistic look.

It is very important point! When you’ll teach someone next time how to draw a turtle please mention this detail by all means.

Continue shading the scales on both flippers and on the head. Also watch out, because not every scale is of he same darkness – especially on the head.

The skin on the neck is slightly rolled; there are no scales, so that the turtle can turn the head as needed.

The best process is to shade all scales first by the same color tone (darkness) while leaving the white borders among scales. Then you can darken them as necessary; darker or lighter.

It is time to put shade on the shell’s scutes (scale-like structures). Notice the pattern on each scute goes a certain direction. As if it would be drawn into a certain point.

Make weak pencil guidelines of direction of the pattern on every scute (see the picture). This will help and guide you while shading every scute.

Please shade it by short pencil strokes. It is easier and faster.

Continue shading and filling up the pattern on every scute. I know it is a bit time-consuming but you will have a beautiful turtle drawing when you do it this way. I Promise!

Notice that some small irregular spots remain blank (light) on almost every scute. That is probably the part of nature’s pattern.

At this stage you should have a finished shell.

You do not need to sweat to make an exact copy of this turtle drawing, put your own creation into it too.

Remember you are not a scanner or camera, you are human and it is OK to make slight irregularities.

Similarly as you did on flippers, outline the scales on the rear legs by weak pencil lines. Process is the very same.

Do not forget to leave white border-lines among the scales…because they are scales and they need to be properly distinguished.

Great JOB! I believe your turtle drawing looks much better than mine.

Now, you know the very basic steps how to draw a turtle. Using this simple technique you are now able to draw virtually any turtle you choose.

Always remember, point is in details! Work them out diligently if possible.

Did You Enjoy Drawing the Turtle?

Check Out Also These Animal Drawing Tutorials:

Learn How To Draw People, Hands, Eyes, Faces And A Whole Lot More

Click here to learn more
  1. Home
  2. How To Draw Animals
  3. Draw A Turtle
Click here to learn more

What's New

  1. Raghava Lawrence

    Nov 07, 19 02:42 AM

    Cool portrait of Indian choreographer, actor, director and philanthropist Raghava Lawrence ♥️.

    see the drawings

  2. Ajith ♥️ Shalini

    Nov 07, 19 02:39 AM

    Everlasting love💕My favorite couple Ajith and Shalini😊

    see the drawings

  3. Bruce Lee

    Nov 06, 19 03:30 AM

    My latest attempt at realistic portrait, The Legend Bruce Lee.

    see the drawings

  4. Colors added to this cartoon

    Nov 03, 19 06:16 PM

    Yesterday I decided to add colors to this cartoon of mine. Coloration is more attractive.

    see the drawings

  5. Two imaginary art

    Nov 03, 19 06:14 PM

    As usual, the type of art I like.

    see the drawings

  6. Bharat Mata

    Nov 01, 19 06:42 PM

    Goddess Bharat or India.

    see the drawings

  7. Corruption

    Nov 01, 19 06:41 PM

    Corruption is headless and have a belly full of notes.

    see the drawings

  8. My first Anime Drawing

    Oct 30, 19 09:34 AM

    Well, I was bored cuz I watched the best anime so after that, I tried my first drawing, don't blame me, I'm only new to drawing. I'm in the middle school

    see the drawings

  9. Joker

    Oct 29, 19 06:37 PM

    Tried to draw Joker(Heath ledger version) He is my favourite joker of all time..

    see the drawings

  10. Drawing of coulrophobia

    Oct 29, 19 06:36 PM

    Fear of clowns is common when I was a kid I was terrified of clowns so now I decided to draw you fear on paper I really like the way it turned out in the

    see the drawings

  11. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

    Oct 26, 19 06:49 PM

    I just made it

    see the drawings

  12. Hermione

    Oct 26, 19 06:47 PM

    I was bored and just wanted to try something different and this seemed like a refreshing idea.

    see the drawings

  13. Black Dots

    Oct 26, 19 06:42 PM

    Can you count the BLACK DOTS?

    see the drawings

  14. First drawing with FC Polychromos

    Oct 26, 19 06:39 PM

    Basically,I am a student so I don't have much time to draw. And I take a lot of time! Hope the drawing is good,at the end. Thank you

    see the drawings

  15. The Ball Park

    Oct 26, 19 06:26 PM

    That’s one disappointed Penguin!

    see the drawings