I offer to your attention very interesting lesson — today we will learn how to draw an elephant. We will consider the features of its body structure and learn to create beautiful paintings with the image of one of the most exotic animals on our planet.
Materials for painting elephant
- Paper for sketches
- Graphite pencils of different hardness
This lesson will help to understand the structure of the animal so that you can understand how to draw elephant in any technique. Before you begin a serious work, you should practice in creating the simple sketches.
How to draw an elephant step by step
with the help of a pencil
When we start painting, we should find good photos and carefully examine them. If you are going to draw an elephant in different poses and in motion, it will be useful to watch the video.
You can partially look up to my painting. Maybe, you will get the similar drawing of an elephant at the end of this lesson:
Shape and silhouette
Let`s create a primitive silhouette. At this stage we use only the simplest shapes and do not go into the details. All the lines are very light and barely noticeable.
The silhouette created from the simple shapes is shown with a green line. The red arrows show the general direction: from the pelvis up to the chest; the belly sags down between the hind legs and raises near the front legs. Show the head and trunk, body and pelvis, fore and hind limbs.
In order to draw an elephant in motion, you should mark the direction of this motion. You can show this with a line of the spine or an arrow as it is shown on a picture below.
Then move on to the more detailed improving of the figure. Let`s improve the silhouette and make previously marked lines smoother.
Add ears and tusks, following their direction. Let’s improve the trunk; the further from the head – the narrower it becomes.
The feet are shown on the picture below. They deserve special attention. There is a small widening in the area of a foot and the fingers and nails are slightly seen. Three nails are seen on the hind legs and four – on the front legs.
At the next stage of our lesson on how to draw a realistic elephant we will try to understand the structure of the head. Here the main distinctive features of this animal are concentrated. Since we have painted the elephant in profile on the previous illustrations, now we will show it full face.
In order to understand better, let`s look at schematic image of the head.
The red line shows the shape where the skull can be inscribed into; the upper part is a semi oval and the lower part is slightly narrowed.
- The red line shows the shape where the skull can be inscribed into; the upper part is a semi oval and the lower part is slightly narrowed.
- The green lines divide the head in half vertically and horizontally, they will help to create a symmetrical picture and locate the eyes properly. Locate the small eyes over the horizontal axis far enough from each other.
- The yellow arrows show the direction and shape of folds on the trunk.
- The pink wavy lines show the uneven surface of the tips of ears.
- The purple arrows show how the tusks grow.
- The orange triangles mark the skin covering the base of the tusks. However, if an elephant has no tusks, this part of a portrait will be absent.
Now let`s come over to the next stage of our lesson on how to draw a simple elephant and draw ears. The external ears are very big and serve as a conditioner helping to cool.
This picture shows the differences between African (right) and Asian (left) elephants. The ears of Indian elephants are much smaller than the African`s and there are the differences in the shape of a skull.
Now we are coming over to the net stage on how to draw an elephant face. The picture below shows what eye shape these animals usually have. There are many wrinkles of calloused skin around eyes. There are often eyelashes, they grow straight.
There is a crest over the eyes (1) – the eyebrow ridges and the cavity (2) over the eyebrows.
Show these shapes in your work with the light strokes in order to make it more realistic.
Trunk and tusks
It is not difficult to depict the trunk, especially if you do not go into details. Still, you should pay attention to the shape and relief of a trunk from the backside.
The tip of a trunk has two holes and a round or heart shape.
There is a lower jaw below the trunk. This part of body has no special features, thus it is not difficult to depict.
The tusks can be of different length and slightly differ in shape. Lots of animals have no tusks.
Now we are coming over to the last stage of our lesson on how to draw elephant step by step. We should improve our drawing of elephant and add shadow in the lower part of the body, on the belly, under the ears, tail and lower jaw, under the trunk and tusks.
The red arrows on the picture above show the characteristic directions of folds on the skin. The figure will become more volumetric if you add strokes of different intensity, following the shape of body. The skin will seem more calloused due to the clear strokes that show the deep folds and wrinkles.
Video-tutorial on how to draw a elephant step by step
In order to make all the above mentioned clearer, let`s watch a video on how to draw elephants and paint together:
Beautiful pictures for inspiration
if you have become interested in silhouette painting of animals, you can watch the workshop “Creating the silhouette painting with acrylic paints”.
Also I would advise you to look at unusual works of the modern artist Geoffrey Benzing and, certainly, the works of Salvatore Dali.
I hope you have like this lesson on how to draw a cute elephant and you will create the perfect drawings and paintings.
I wish you success!