Art History Lab

Easy Steps to Create a Realistic Elephant Sketch: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to the Elephant Drawing Tutorial

Drawing can be a relaxing and rewarding way to spend your time. However, it can be intimidating, especially when it comes to drawing realistic animals like an elephant.

We are here to help you in this regard with an easy-to-follow drawing tutorial that will guide you through the process of creating a realistic elephant sketch. This tutorial is intended for anyone who wants to learn to draw an elephant, regardless of their skill level.

We will take you through all the steps and details needed to create a beautiful drawing that you can be proud of.

Background Information and Purpose of the Tutorial

Our main goal is to provide you with a step-by-step tutorial that you can use to create a realistic elephant sketch. Through the tutorial, we aim to teach you basic drawing techniques that can be used to create other animal drawings.

We provide instructions that are easy to follow and break down the process into simple steps. There is no need to be intimidated when it comes to creating an elephant drawing.

With some practice and patience, you can create your own masterpiece.

Steps and Details Covered in the Tutorial

Our tutorial instructs you on the process of creating a realistic elephant sketch. The steps include constructing the main body shape, outlining the various body parts, adding details and textures, and even coloring.

To begin, you will learn about constructing the elephant’s body shape using construction shapes and lines. This is an essential technique that will help you in learning how to draw other animals as well.

Next, you will learn about drawing the various body parts of the elephant. We will guide you through sketching the head shape, shaping the trunk, outlining the tusks, creating the ears, joining the head and body, drawing the tail, mapping the front and back legs, and creating the final outline.

Adding texture and details is an integral part of creating a realistic elephant sketch. We will teach you step-by-step on adding the details and textures to your drawing that will make it look lifelike.

Once the sketch is complete, we will guide you on the coloring steps to use for creating different effects. Constructing the Elephant’s Body Shape

The first step in creating a realistic elephant sketch is to establish the elephant’s main body shape using construction shapes and lines.

Begin by drawing a horizontal oval for the body shape. The top half should be slightly larger than the bottom half.

You will then need to draw a smaller vertical oval for the head and a small curve for the trunk. Using these construction shapes, draw the outlines of the elephant’s body and legs.

Make sure to spend time in getting the shapes right, as a well-constructed body can result in a more realistic-looking final image.

Drawing the Various Body Parts of the Elephant

After creating the body shape, the next step is to draw the various parts of the elephant’s body and add details. The head should be small and curved and include details of the trunk.

The elephant’s trunk is long and has many wrinkles, so attention to detail is crucial to make it look realistic. You will then need to outline the tusks by drawing long, curved lines that taper towards the tips.

Additionally, draw large ears with specific details of wrinkles and veins. Once the head is complete, you can join it to the body by sketching the elephant’s neck region.

Finish the outline by drawing the tail from the back of the elephant. While drawing the elephants legs, there are various intricacies you should take note of that feature different elephant species, and the surroundings they are in.

Therefore, incorporating these aspects can add extra realism to your sketch.

Adding Details and Textures

After completing the outline, we will add details and textures to your elephant sketch to make it look more realistic. Adding textures involves various intricate lines and shading that will add depth to your drawing.

You can use a range of drawing techniques to add texture to the elephant, including stippling and cross-hatching. For instance, by drawing fine lines around the trunk, it will help add depth to wrinkles on the trunk.

Depending on the medium you are using to color your sketch, it will require a different technique and skill, including using paints, pencils, or even digital coloring.


Drawing an elephant can seem like a daunting task, but with our easy-to-follow drawing tutorial, you can create a realistic elephant sketch that you can be proud of. Remember to take your time and practice each step to improve your technique.

Through our step-by-step guide, we have shown the importance of constructing the body shape and outlining the various body parts, adding details and textures, and coloring steps to create a lifelike drawing. Our article has featured different techniques and skills that can be learned by beginners and improved by professionals.

With this comprehensive guide, you can now not only create an elephant sketch but also use the techniques learned to draw other animals.

Adding Details and Textures to the Elephant Drawing

Adding texture and details is an integral part of creating a realistic elephant sketch. In this section, we will delve into the different techniques of adding lifelike texture to your elephant drawing.

Adding Texture to the Skin of the Elephant

One of the most defining characteristics of an elephant’s skin is the wrinkles and folds all over its body. To create realistic wrinkly and folded skin patterns on the elephant body, the first step is to draw the patterns on the elephant’s body with a light pencil.

Using a darker pencil, draw lines over the patterns you sketched in step one, making them more prominent. The key is to create different-sized lines to mimic the textural variety on an elephant’s skin.

The semi-circular skin folds of an elephant’s skin can also be created using a similar technique. By drawing swift curved lines joining a horizontal line at either end, the folds of the skin illustrate an impression from the elephant’s weight.

Painting the Base Color Coat and Adding Shading

Once you have created the outlined texture of the elephant, the next step is to start coloring the elephant using base colors such as gray or brown, depending on the species of elephant you want to draw. It is recommended to use figure painting brushes to paint the desired colors to the elephant’s body accurately.

Adding shading is a critical step in bringing out the boldness and depth in your elephant drawing it adds a sense of realism. Use black paint and mix it with the elephant’s base color to bring out the shadow that is created from the wrinkles and folds on the elephant’s skin.

Remember to apply the shadows in a way that works with the direction of your light source. To add highlights to the elephant’s skin, mix white paint with the base coat color used in the last step.

Apply it to the elephant’s prominent portions where light would naturally strike and gradually add further detailing as you go.

Finishing Touches for a Seamless and Realistic Final Product

The final touches of your elephant drawing require keen attention to detail. The eye of the elephant is a crucial element in bringing the drawing to life.

Add some white paint to the eye area to give the impression of glint reflecting off the eyeball. After completing all the details and adding textures and color, trace over the outline using a darker pencil or pen.

This ensures that the drawing is prominent and stands out. To add a complete look to the final elephant drawing, add some white highlights to the edges, giving the elephant an appearance of its body radiating with light.

Learning To Draw an Elephant

Learning to draw an elephant can be daunting. Below are some tips to help you overcome initial difficulty in drawing an elephant.

Overcoming the Initial Difficulty in Drawing an Elephant

To create an elephant drawing, you need not be a professional artist. Our easy-to-follow tutorial aims to teach beginners to draw an elephant with ease.

Always begin by drawing basic construction shapes. By doing so, you will learn to create the outline of the elephant and its different body parts.

This is an iterative process, and the first drawing may not meet your expectations. But with each attempt, analyze the drawing and identify what you can improve next time, and you will quickly find that you are getting better each time you try.

Focus on Drawing the Elephant’s Face

The elephant’s face is by far the most prominent feature of the animal. The eyes, trunk, and tusks are the key features that define an elephant’s face.

Therefore, the focus is on these details to make the face look realistic. Starting with the eye, it is essential to capture the expression of the elephant.

The eyelashes and eyebrows help to convey the mood in the elephant’s expression. By outlining a curved line above and below the eye area, the eyebrows are created while keeping the eyelashes long to enhance the elephant’s character.

The trunk of the elephant is long, curvy, and has detailed wrinkles that form with every fold. Drawing the wrinkles is essential to make the trunk look realistic.

Tusks are another critical aspect of every elephant’s face, and it is vital to get their curve and length accurate. The delicate areas where a tusk meets the elephant’s mouth and skin should be taken into account to add the necessary textures.


Drawing an elephant requires patience, practice, and attention to detail. Once you have mastered the techniques outlined in this article, you can apply the skills to any animal drawing.

From constructing the elephant’s body shape to adding texture and color, focus on each step to perfect your drawing. Utilize the guide and tips to overcome any difficulties you may experience when drawing an elephant, and create a beautiful elephant drawing.

The main points of this article cover the process of creating a realistic elephant sketch through an easy-to-follow tutorial. We explored the steps and details, including constructing the body shape, outlining various body parts, adding texture, and coloring the drawing.

Additionally, we provided tips for overcoming initial difficulties and focusing on the elephant’s face. Mastering these techniques can not only help you create an impressive elephant drawing but also enhance your overall drawing skills.

Remember, practice and attention to detail are key in creating lifelike animal drawings. So, grab your drawing materials and embark on a creative journey to bring elephants to life on paper.

Happy drawing!

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