How to Draw a Dolphin Step by Step

This step by step tutorials shows how to draw and color a cartoon dolphin. It includes simple beginner friendly illustrations for each step.

Dolphin drawing step by step
Dolphin drawing step by step

It’s recommended that you use a pencil for at least the first four steps of the tutorial. Draw light lines that you can easily erase in case you make a mistake.

Step 1 – Draw the Body of the Dolphin

Dolphin body drawing
Dolphin body drawing

Start by drawing the outline shape of the dolphins body. It will be wider towards the head and narrower towards the tail. You can also add the outline shape of the “nose” which in the case of a dolphin is called a rostrum.

Draw the rostrum slightly narrower towards the tip and wider as it goes into the head.

Step 2- Draw the Tail

Dolphin tail drawing
Dolphin tail drawing

Draw the tail with the top portion close to a half circle in shape and the the bottom split into two wave like shapes.

Step 3 – Draw the Fin & Flippers

Dolphin fin and flippers drawing
Dolphin fin and flippers drawing

For this step draw the fin and the flippers. Draw the fin (on top of the dolphin) curving backwards with a pointier tip and a wide base. To show that the dolphin is in 3/4 view draw the foreground flipper more to the left of the picture and the background flipper more to the right. Also draw them curving in the opposite directions. Again make the flippers wider towards the dolphins body and pointier towards the tips similar to the fin.

Erase the parts of the body that will be overlapped/hidden by the foreground flipper.

Step 4 – Draw the Mouth & Split Between Top & Bottom

Dolphin top bottom splits drawing
Dolphin top bottom splits drawing

For this step draw the dolphins mouth with just one simple curve. The mouth should curve upwards like a smile. Going from the mouth draw a sort of split between the top and bottom portion of the dolphins body.

Step 5 – Draw the Eye & Finish the Line Drawing

Dolphin line drawing
Dolphin line drawing

Start this final step of the line drawing by first adding the dolphins eye.

Make the bottom portion of the eye a very light curve aligned aligned with the top part of the nose and a tiny distance away from it. As this is a cartoon dolphin draw the outer part of the eye fairly large and the iris/inner part of the eye much smaller. Also draw a little oval shaped highlight inside the eye slightly overlapping the iris.

To finish the line drawing go over it with either darker pencil lines, back pen or marker. Make the iris of the eye black but leave highlight white.

Step 6 – Color the Dolphin

Dolphin drawing
Dolphin drawing

To color the dolphin use a darker blue for the upper part of its body and lighter blue for the bottom. Leave a white highlight area inside each section of the body for the reflections. This will help show that the dolphin is wet and shiny. Larger body parts should generally have larger highlights.

As this step is so simple you can use anything you want to color the dolphin (paints, markers, colored pencils, etc…).

Once you finish the coloring you are done with the tutorial.

Conclusion

A dolphin is an interesting and fairly easy to draw animal, especially in a more cartoon like style used in this tutorial. For more similar animal drawing tutorials see: