How to Draw a Cartoon Elephant

Cartoon elephant drawing

In this lesson, let's take a look at how to draw a cartoon elephant - one that's symmetrically simple so that you can easily adjust its look as you progress.

Looking at an elephant straight on, it becomes quite clear that the shapes of which compose it are easily visible. And this helps a great deal because mapping out a guideline for your drawing becomes a much simpler task!

In ths finished version to the right, notice how with only a few simple extra lines, I've created the impression of wrinkles. It's amazing how a few squiggles of a pencil can dramatically affect the final look of a drawing.

As mentioned above - this drawing lesson is symmetrically put together where - for the most part... whatever you do to the left side, do pretty much the same thing to the right. But no, this isn't a rule or anything... if you want to change something as you're moving along, I encourage you to do so!

Alright, let's get on with this elephant then...

Circles for planning the shape of an elephant

First Step - Four Circle Guideline

As I mentioned above, when you look at elephants straight on, the shapes of which they are composed are easy to make out. And again, this makes mapping out a guideline a whole lot easier too!

You can summarize the head and body section as four overlapping circles. Start with the center circle - the head... and then draw three more for the ears and body of your cartoon elephant.

When you're done this, take a look below at how to map out the position of the legs, the facial features, and the tusk and trunk. Note the BIG cross...

Rectangles for the feet of an elephant Drawing a center line and curves for the tusks

I purposely extended the cross to go below and beyond the face area. Basically, the trunk is a really long nose. Use the cross to help you position the trunk, and if you like - draw it so that it curves slightly to the left or right.

OK - things are looking good! Let's keep going...

Second Step - Drawing Your Cartoon Elephant

With a very simple and nice-looking framework in place, go ahead and begin to draw your cartoon elephant - beginning with the eyes.

In my case - nice big circles... in your case -- who knows! Draw the eyes however you like. And when you're done, continue on with the trunk, and then the tusks...

Drawing the eyes, trunk and tusks of the cartoon elephant Drawing the ears and head of the cartoon elephant

The eyes, trunk and tusks are the three main components of the face of your elephant. Once in place, you can easily go ahead and sketch in the ears on either side of the head, followed by the head itself. Do this and then move on forward to draw in the legs, body and tail...

Drawing the body and feet of the cartoon elephant Drawing the back legs of the cartoon elephant

The rectangles make drawing the legs pretty darn simple too. You don't even have to draw them curved like I did... straight 'tree trunk-like' legs will do just fine for a cartoon elephant!

When you're all finished, get rid of the underlying framework with a good eraser. Then, think about the details and color you can add to bring your elephant to life. And if you like, it may be fun to draw the elephant's 'arch enemy' alongside it... a tiny cartoon mouse! :-)