How to Draw a Cartoon Octopus

Cartoon octopus drawing

Drawing a cartoon octopus like the one pictured above, is quite a bit of fun - as really... there are all sorts of ways you can go about it.

Here though, let's start off from a blueprint of simple shapes and lines - something we can use to establish structure early on. Then, if you like - go ahead and branch off to come up with your own unique version of the character.

Let's begin!

Drawing a Cartoon Phoenix

Beginning with simple framework - an arrangement of basic shapes to help visualize the structure of the subject, carefully and lightly - create a base from which to draw your cartoon octopus.

A large oval will do nicely for the head in this case. Notice here though, as sort of a 'pivotal point' - I've added a small circle at the base. This will be the central point - where the head and legs connect...

Circle and oval framework for an octopus

Next up - giving it a '3D' look - add some curved lines (if you like), and also... draw in the eight legs.

At this point - the legs are basic curved lines. But - they act as placeholders - to sketch in the final legs as we'll do very soon. Use this to visualize mentally - or actually... on the paper in front of you...

Completed framework for drawing an octopus

And now to the first part of the drawing. A big circle to station its right eye...

Drawing the eye of the octopus

And then - follow it up by mirroring its other eye. Note though - due to perspective... a slight 3/4 head tilt away from the observer... the left eye will appear smaller.

Here's how it looks...

Drawing eyes of the octopus

A key defining feature of any octopus... sketch in its big ovular head. By sketching the eyes first - this part is all the more easy. Working from 'front to back' works well.

Here it is...

Drawing the head of the octopus

OK. A few more curves - and it's on to the legs... eight of them!

How does your cartoon octopus look anyway? Remember - don't be too hung up on getting yours to look like mine. The whole point is to have you totally 'tangent off' and whip up an entirely new look - but with a little help here... you can establish a nice 'octopusish' structure while doing it! :-)

Drawing the tentacles of the octopus

Notice perspective being taken into account with the legs. Based on the position of each one - lines will overlap accordingly.

So... the inner flaps of skin, connecting each leg... can either be seen 'entirely' or 'not entirely' depending on the legs position. The central leg - just below the orange connector dot appears as foremost in the drawing. The other legs - from left to right... appear behind - and so... we see the overlapping of lines.

Drawing the tentacles of the cartoon octopus

Here's what my cartoon octopus looks like with its legs complete...

Drawing of a cartoon octopus

And - minus the framework of underlying lightly sketched lines (if you drew them! - you really don't have to... it's just for extra help) - we now have a nice, crisp black-lined drawing...

Black and white drawing of an octopus

So of course - add a splash of color now...

Drawing of a cartoon octopus

And there it is - your eight-legged deep-sea dweller, complete!

I think the mouth is a nice finishing touch - don't you? With and without - you get two totally distinct looks. Experiment with yours... smaller eyes... longer legs. Heck - make it 'mechanical' - that would be cool!

And stay tuned for more lessons to come. :-)