How to

How to Draw a Dolphin Step by Step

This comprehensive tutorial will guide you through the process of drawing a captivating cartoon dolphin. With its simple and beginner-friendly illustrations, accompanied by quick drawing tips, this tutorial is perfect for artists of all skill levels.

Dolphin drawing step by step
Dolphin drawing step by step

The dolphin in this tutorial is depicted in a stylized and simplified manner, making it relatively easy to recreate. You can get a glimpse of the different stages of the drawing in the image above.

Before we begin, it is recommended that you utilize a pencil for the majority of the steps. This way, you can create light lines that are easily erasable in case you need to make corrections. You can darken the lines in the fifth step before proceeding to add color.

Step 1 – Sketch the Dolphin’s Body

Dolphin body drawing
Dolphin body drawing

Start by outlining the shape of the dolphin’s body. The body should be wider towards the head and gradually taper towards the tail. Next, add the outline of the dolphin’s “nose,” also known as the rostrum. Make this part slightly narrower towards the tip and wider as it connects to the head.

Step 2 – Draw the Tail

Dolphin tail drawing
Dolphin tail drawing

Sketch the dolphin’s tail, ensuring that the top portion resembles a half-circle shape while the bottom is split into two wave-like forms.

Step 3 – Add the Fin and Flippers

Dolphin fin and flippers drawing
Dolphin fin and flippers drawing

In this step, incorporate the dolphin’s fin and flippers into the drawing. The fin, which is positioned on top of the dolphin, should curve backward with a slightly pointed yet rounded tip and a broader base. To achieve a 3/4 view of the dolphin, draw the foreground flipper (the one in front) towards the left side of the picture and the background flipper towards the right side. Also, make sure to curve them in opposite directions. Similar to the fin, make the flippers wider near the dolphin’s body and pointier towards their tips.

Don’t forget to erase the parts of the body that would be overlapped or hidden by the foreground flipper.

Step 4 – Outline the Mouth and Define Top & Bottom

Dolphin top-bottom splits drawing
Dolphin top-bottom splits drawing

To continue, it’s time to draw the dolphin’s mouth. A simple upward curve will suffice, resulting in a smiling expression. Starting from the mouth, draw a line that defines the lighter and stomach area on the dolphin’s body. This line will be useful when adding color later on.

Step 5 – Detail the Eye and Finalize the Line Drawing

Dolphin line drawing
Dolphin line drawing

Begin this final step of the line drawing by adding the dolphin’s eye. The bottom portion of the eye should consist of a gentle curve, aligned with the top part of the nose, but a small distance away from it. Since this is a cartoon dolphin, make the outer part of the eye relatively large while keeping the iris or inner part much smaller. To add depth, include a small oval-shaped highlight that slightly overlaps with the iris.

To complete the line drawing, trace over it with darker pencil lines, ink, or marker. Fill in the iris with black or dark pencil shading, leaving the highlight white.

Step 6 – Bring the Dolphin to Life with Color

Dolphin drawing
Dolphin drawing

Coloring gives the dolphin its vibrant and dynamic appearance. Use a darker shade of blue for the upper part of its body and a lighter blue for the bottom. Additionally, leave a white highlight area within each body section to represent reflections, which will enhance the dolphin’s wet and shiny appearance. Remember, larger body parts should have more prominent highlights.

Feel free to use any medium you prefer for coloring, such as paints, markers, or colored pencils. If you wish to achieve lighter colors like those shown in the example, paints or pencils would be a better choice.

Once you’ve completed this step, your tutorial journey is finished.


A dolphin is an interesting creature to draw, especially in a stylized or cartoon-like style, as demonstrated in this tutorial. We hope you found it enjoyable and easy to follow along.

If you’re fond of simple step-by-step tutorials like this one, consider exploring our other drawing guides, which include:

  • How to Draw a Penguin Step by Step
  • How to Draw a Swan Step by Step
  • How to Draw a Dog Step by Step
  • How to Draw a Cat Step by Step
  • How to Draw a Fox Step by Step

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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