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How to Draw a Turtle

Turtles and tortoises are beloved animals and are quite popular. Several states in the United States have turtles as their state reptile.

Also, turtles are popular mascots. These animals are well known for their longevity and wisdom in stories and fables. If you want to know how to draw a turtle, then you are in the right place.

So which type of turtle do you wish to draw? Is it a sea turtle, a teenage mutant ninja turtle, a cartoon turtle, a realistic turtle, a baby turtle, a swimming turtle, or even a simple turtle?

We have sections on how to draw different types of turtles as well as videos you can follow. 

How To Draw A Sea Turtle

There are different ways to draw a sea turtle. The sea turtle can be more cartoony or more realistic.

If you wish to draw a more realistic sea turtle follow the first video. The second video shows us how to draw a simple sea turtle. 

How To Draw A Realistic Loggerhead Sea Turtle

If you wish to draw a realistic (loggerhead) sea turtle, then the tutorial below should be superb for you. 

The tutorial in this video is a bit advanced and will prove a challenge for beginners.

  • Here the artist starts with the head which he draws in the upper left corner. 
  • This is followed by drawing the limbs and the rest of the body. 
  • From there, the artist fills in the details – the scales. I recommend using a real picture as a reference as you fill in the details.

Materials Needed

The materials used here are a sharpie and a blank piece of paper. 

How To Draw A Realistic Green Sea Turtle

Drawing a realistic green sea turtle can be challenging. However, with practice, you wouldn’t have much of a problem. The instructions given in the tutorial below are easy to follow. 

  • Start with a circle. This should be the guide/contour for the front part of the shell. Next draw a big arc on the left side, which will be the guide for the rest of the shell. 
  • Draw a smaller oval to the right. This will serve as the head. Draw two interesting lines within the circle.
  • Connect the head to the body with two lines. These lines will be the neck. Refer to the video for more information on this step.
  • Draw angled lines to serve as guides for the flippers. Next, draw the tail. 
  • Now you can start adding details. Draw the mouth as seen in the video, then the eyes and the pupils of the eyes. Give detail to the eyes.
  • Using the angled lines/arc drawn earlier as guides, work on the feet as shown at 2:55.
  • Move onto the top half of the shell and refine the shape of the shell as shown from 3:17 to 5:01.
  • Work more on the flippers and add detail to the rest of the turtle.
  • You can shade the work to add more volume and dimension. You can also erase the guidelines now.
  • You can also give the drawing more volume and dimension by shading it. The shading should be consistent with the direction of a light source.
  • Add more detail to the drawing.

Materials Needed

The materials used here are a pencil and a blank piece of paper. 

How To Draw A Realistic Sea Turtle For Beginners

If you are a beginner but still wish to draw a realistic sea turtle, then check out the video below. 

Here, you should start with the basic shapes, these will serve as outlines. Draw these outlines/contours first, then fill in the details.

For instance, the shell should be an oval. After you have drawn the oval for the shell, you can refine it and fill in the details. 

Materials Needed

Before you start to draw, you need a pencil (3B), an eraser, a piece of paper, and an artist’s pen.

How To Draw A Cartoon Sea Turtle

Cartoon sea turtles have their uses. They are more fun to draw. They also make great fun logos or mascots. A big difference between a cartoon sea turtle and a regular cartoon turtle is the flippers.

Start by drawing the head, followed by the eyes and the mouth. From there you draw the shell.

From there you can fill in the details of the shell. Next, you draw the fins. The fins should look like leaves. You then draw the belly and fill in the details. Lastly, you can color the turtle.

Materials Needed

A sharpie, some colored pencils, and a piece of paper are all you’ll need to draw a cartoon sea turtle. 

How To Draw A Ninja Turtle

The most famous ninja turtles are teenage mutant ninja turtles. Did you know that these radical new yorkers are red-eared sliders?

Well, at least in the original comics they are. Their species have changed over the years from one media to another. This is to be expected as they are famous superheroes. 

There are four ninja turtles namely Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. If you do decide to draw ninja turtles, the best way to distinguish between them is the color of their masks and the weapons they each use.

Leonardo, the oldest and the leader wears a blue mask and uses two katanas. Raphael, the fiercest, wears a red mask and uses a pair of sai.

Donatello, the tech genius of the group, wears a purple mask and uses a Bo. 

  • Start with the head, then the upper half of the body. 
  • Draw the arms and the weapon that the ninja turtle holds. 
  • You can now draw the lower half and the feet. 
  • Fill in the details and add flair to the art so your ninja looks cool. 
  • Color the ninja turtle as required.

This video shows the leader of the turtles, Leonardo.

Materials Needed

The materials you need are a piece of paper, a sharpie or a 3B pencil, and some colored pencils. 

How To Draw A Fun Ninja Turtle Face

If you wish to draw a fun teenage mutant ninja turtle face from classic cartoons, then follow this video.

You start by drawing the nose. Then you can draw the eyes and the headband/ mask. From there, you can draw the top of the head. From there you can draw the mouth. Give the turtle a big smile. Then you can draw the cheeks and finish up the headband. 

Materials Needed

The materials used here are paper and a sharpie.

How To Draw An Edgy Ninja Turtle Face

If you wish to draw an edgy teenage mutant ninja turtle face instead of a fun one, the tutorial below is your best best.

Start with the basic shapes such as a circle for the head. Then draw the eyes. From there focus on the face masks and the mouth.  Now fill in the details and refine the shape of the head. Draw the part of the facemask that hangs off the head.

Use a sharpie to trace the aspects that you want to keep and use an eraser to clean out the parts you wish to remove. You can now color the face.

Materials Needed

The materials you need here are a pencil, sharpie, and eraser. You can add colored pencils if you wish to color the face.

How To Draw A Cute Turtle

If you wish to draw a cute turtle, then the video below should be of great help to you.

The materials used here are a sharpie and colored pencils. This drawing features bold lines and curves.

How To Draw A Cute Baby Turtle

If you wish to draw a cute baby turtle, then you can follow this video.

Materials Needed

All you need to draw this cute turtle is a sharpie.

How To Draw A Turtle Shell

Method 1

If you wish to draw a turtle shell, the following video should help you draw that.

The artist here uses a sharpie and a piece of paper. 

Method 2

While this video covers how to draw an entire sea turtle, it covers how to draw the shell pretty well. 

The materials you need include a pencil (3B), an eraser, a piece of paper, and an artist’s pen.

Here, you should start with the basic shapes, these will serve as outlines. Draw these outlines/contours first, then fill in the details.

Here, the shell should be an oval. After you have drawn the oval for the shell, you can refine it and fill in the details. This includes drawing in the scales and the scutes.

How To Draw A Simple Turtle

Artists and aspiring artists aren’t the only ones allowed to draw a turtle. If you want to quickly draw a simple turtle, then this tutorial should allow you to.

Draw an oval for the shell and then a smaller oval with the oval that you have already drawn. Next, draw the scutes. Draw the head. This too should be an oval. Draw the eyes, the limbs, and a tail. 

Materials Needed

Here all you need is a sharpie and a sheet of paper.  

How To Draw A Simple Galapagos Tortoise

You may also want to draw a simple tortoise. if so, then this tutorial should allow you to. This is a simple tortoise that most people can draw.

Start with a head and a long neck as shown in the video. Draw the shell, the legs, and the underside. Draw the tail and then fill in the details of the shell. 

Materials Needed

All you need is a sharpie and a piece of paper.

How To Draw A Realistic Turtle

This tutorial guides you through drawing a realistic freshwater turtle. The turtle drawn here is a red-eared slider.

How To Draw A Red-Eared Slider

  • Start with an oval. This should be the guide/contour for the shell. Next draw a smaller oval on the top right side, which will be the guide for the head. Connect the head to the body with two lines.
  • Draw angled lines to serve as guides for the feet. Next, draw the tail. 
  • Now you can start adding details. Draw the mouth as seen in the video, then the eyes and the pupils of the eyes. Give detail to the eyes.
  • Move onto the top half of the shell and refine the shape of the shell.
  • With the lower half of the shell, use jagged lines to give the shell a rough feel.
  • When filling in the details for the shell use a picture for reference so that your shell looks good.
  • Now you can move onto the legs. Go around the guides and make the legs thick and draw the toes.
  • Draw the bottom part of the shell using the original oval as a guide as shown in the video at 5:03
  • Draw the tail.
  • You can erase the guides if you want. 
  • You can also give the drawing more volume and dimension by shading it. The shading should be consistent with the direction of a light source.
  • Add more detail to the drawing.

Materials Needed

This artist uses a pencil for drawing the turtle. The turtle featured here is a red-eared slider. 

How To Draw A Swimming Turtle

Drawing a swimming turtle requires you to draw the turtle in motion. The tutorial here features a sea turtle in motion.

Here the artist starts with the head which he draws in the upper left corner. This is followed by drawing the limbs and the rest of the body.

From there, the artist fills in the details – the scales. I recommend using a real picture as a reference as you fill in the details.

Materials Needed

The materials used by the artist here are a sharpie and a blank piece of paper. 

How To Draw A Baby Turtle

Drawing a baby turtle is similar to drawing a regular turtle. Follow the tutorial to easily draw a baby turtle. 

This video starts with the drawing of the head, followed by the shell, and the fins. The artist then fills in the details of the shell. 

Materials Needed

With this tutorial, the materials you need include a sharpie and a blank piece of paper. 

Tips

  • As with any type of drawing, learning to properly and expertly draw a turtle is a skill. This skill requires practice. Apart from practice, you need to learn. The tutorials here will allow you to learn and improve your skill.
  • In order to draw expertly, you need to observe. Drawing is about 50% observation. This includes observing the item you wish to draw. In this case, the item you wish to draw is a turtle. There are different ways to observe a turtle. You can look at images and videos of the turtles. You can also observe others drawing the turtle.
  • Start with the basic shapes, these will serve as outlines. Draw these outlines/contours first, then fill in the details.
  • Make masterful use of the resources at your disposal. An example of this is to pause any tutorial video you use after each step and whenever you need.
  • You need to practice. The more you practice, the better you will become. You need to be patient. While drawing a simple turtle may be easy enough, drawing a realistic turtle may require hours of practice before you can perfect your craft.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is drawing a turtle difficult?

Turtles are easy to draw when compared to other objects and animals. The difficulty of the task depends on your skill level and the type of turtle you wish to draw. 

Drawing a realistic turtle can be difficult. However, drawing a simple cartoon turtle can be simple. The only way to make drawing a turtle easy is through practice.

What materials do I need to get started?

I recommend getting a sharpie, a pencil – preferably one with a 3B grade, an artist’s pen, and  colored pencils

How do you easily draw a turtle?

The easiest way to draw a turtle is through observation.

One way is to observe another artist drawing a turtle. Watching a video on the subject may be the easiest way to draw a turtle if you are unable to draw one or you are having trouble drawing a turtle.

How can you draw a beautiful turtle?

The only answer to this is practice. The more you practice, the better you will get and the more beautiful your turtle will be. 

Wrapping Up

How did you do? Were you able to draw a turtle with ease? 

Drawing a turtle is simple and with the right information, you should be able to easily draw a turtle. Well, at least a simple one.

More realistic and detailed turtles can be tougher to draw. The best solution to masterfully drawing a turtle is through practice and observation. 

Let us know in the comments below! Send us a copy of your drawing and we might even feature it here on the site!

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