How to

How to Draw a Shark – A Step-by-Step Tutorial

how to draw a shark

Welcome to this step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a shark. Sharks are fascinating and feared creatures due to their reputation as ferocious predators. However, it’s important to remember that they play a vital role in the ocean’s food chain and contribute to the health of our planet.

When drawing a shark, we not only explore its anatomy and body structure but also learn about its behavior and unique features, allowing us to create a more realistic representation. Drawing complex animals like sharks is challenging but provides an opportunity to improve our drawing techniques, including shading, perspective, and proportion.

So, grab your pencils and paper, and let’s dive into the captivating world of shark anatomy through the art of drawing.

What You Will Learn:

  • The body structure of a shark
  • How to draw and shade a shark

Materials Needed:

  • A piece of paper
  • A 2H graphite pencil
  • A 4B and 8B graphite pencil
  • Powdered Graphite
  • A soft brush
  • A Tombow Mono Zero 2.3mm eraser
  • A kneaded eraser

shark drawing

This is the shark you will be drawing:

shark drawing steps

And these are all the steps we’ll guide you through:

Section 1 – Drawing the Structure

Understanding the structure of a shark’s body is essential for drawing it from scratch. In this section, we’ll learn how to draw the structure of a shark’s body. Use your 2H graphite pencil with gentle pressure to create soft marks.

Step 1: Divide your Canvas

Draw two intersecting lines, one horizontal and one vertical, in the middle of your canvas.

shark drawing step 1

Step 2: Draw a Circle

Draw a circle at the center of your canvas using the intersecting lines as a guide. This circle determines the diameter of the shark’s abdomen and affects the final size of your drawing. You can use a compass to ensure the correct diameter.

shark drawing step 2

Step 3: Draw Another Circle

Draw a second circle with half the diameter of the first circle. Place it on top of the baseline in the center of the first quadrant. This second circle represents the shark’s head in your drawing.

shark drawing step 3

Step 4: Draw a Smaller Circle

Draw a third circle below the baseline, approximately one-third of the diameter of the first circle. Position it at an equal distance to the second circle.

shark drawing step 4

Step 5: Connect Them

Draw lines connecting the three circles as shown in the image. Repeat this step for the bottom part of the circles.

shark drawing step 5
shark drawing step 5

Step 6: Draw Two Lines

Draw two diagonal lines projecting upward from the largest circle. Connect them to each other. These lines represent the structure and position of the upper fin.

shark drawing step 6

Step 7: Repeat

Repeat the previous step for the left and right circles. Draw straight lines from the sides of the circles, following the directions of the lines drawn in Step 5.

shark drawing step 7
shark drawing step 7

Step 8: Draw a Curved Vertical Line

To start drawing the shark’s tail, make a smooth curved stroke at the intersection closest to the smaller circle. This stroke serves as a reference for defining the shape and proportions of the tail.

shark drawing step 8

Step 9: Define the Tail

Continuing with the tail, draw two diagonals that start from the middle of the smaller circle, forming a 90° angle. These lines connect with the curved line drawn in Step 8, gradually shaping the shark’s tail.

shark drawing step 9

Step 10: Let’s Start Shaping the Mouth

The shark’s mouth has a distinctive shape. Follow the diagram below to draw the shark’s “nose” and mouth.

shark drawing step 10

Step 11: Lower Jaw

Using the circle from Step 2 as a guide, draw the corresponding line for the shark’s lower jaw. Refer to the image for a visual reference.

shark drawing step 11

Step 12: Let’s Start with the Fins

Since we’re representing only one side of the shark, the right fin appears to be further away. Draw two curved strokes, as shown in the image, with the left fin longer than the right. This creates a depth effect in your shark drawing. Draw a small curved line to indicate the opening of the mouth.

shark drawing step 12

Step 13: Finish the Contour of the Fins

Draw two curved lines around the tips of the fins. These lines should follow the circular and elongated shape of the fins, connecting with the shark’s body.

shark drawing step 13

Step 14: Draw the Other Fins

Sharks have two more sets of fins: the upper and lower smaller fins and the pelvic fins on the sides. The right pelvic fin is hidden by the shark’s body, but the left one is visible and flatter than the upper and lower fins.

shark drawing step 14

Step 15: Draw the Eye, Nose, and Gills

Draw the shark’s eye, visible nostril, and gills. Start erasing your guidelines using a kneaded eraser.

shark drawing step 15

Step 16: Outline Your Shark

With your 4B pencil, outline your shark and draw the teeth. At this point, your shark drawing is complete. However, if you’re up for a challenge, you can continue with the shading process.

shark drawing step 16

Section 2 – How to Shade a Shark

In this section, we’ll use powdered graphite, your 4B and 8B pencils, and your kneaded eraser to shade the shark. Shading a shark’s body is not as easy as it may seem. Underwater lighting creates unique forms and volumes on the shark’s body.

Step 17: Define the Values

Sharks have two distinct colors on their bodies, dark gray on the back and white on the belly. Marking the color change with your 2H pencil at the beginning will help you achieve a more accurate shading.

shark drawing step 17
shark drawing step 17

Step 18: Fill the Area with Graphite

Use powdered graphite or your 4B pencil to softly fill the highlighted area with a layer of graphite.

shark drawing step 18

Step 19: Draw Two Lines

To achieve the underwater shading style, separate the shark’s body into two parts using two lines. One line should originate from the nose, and the other from the tail.

shark drawing step 19

Step 20: Start Shading

Begin shading the head by darkening the area marked by the line. Create a quick and short gradient between the two sections. Leave the borders of the eyes white but add some contrast to the base of the eye to create a sinking effect.

shark drawing step 20

Step 21: Shade the Left Fin

Shade the left fin using the same technique. Leave the borders white and lighten the value near the part where the fin connects with the body.

shark drawing step 21

Step 22: Shade the Body

Shade the shark’s body with a gradient, lightening the values when reaching the middle part of the body near the left fin. This part receives more light due to the fin’s movements.

shark drawing step 22

Step 23: Shade the Tail

Follow the diagram below to shade the tail, leaving the borders lighter than the rest. Use darker values for the base of the tail, which receives less light.

shark drawing step 23

Step 24: Shade the Upper Body

Softly shade the upper part of the shark’s body with your 4B pencil.

shark drawing step 24

Step 25: Shade the Upper and Left Fin

Shade the upper fin, darkening the value closest to the head. Use a white border or your Tombow Mono Zero eraser to add highlights. Shade the right fin as well, remembering that it’s one of the darkest parts of the shark.

shark drawing step 25

Step 26: Shade the Belly

The shark’s belly is white, but it’s affected by light and the shark’s position. Create a soft gradient with your 4B pencil, leaving only the sides of the shark with the lightest values.

shark drawing step 26

Step 27: Shade the Mouth

Apply enough pressure and layers of graphite to create a very dark shade for the shark’s mouth. Leave the teeth white but shade the bases to define their volume.

shark drawing step 27

Step 27: Add Water

Using powdered graphite and a soft brush or cotton ball, create a gradient that mimics water. Add highlights with your kneaded eraser to complete the underwater effect.

shark drawing step 27

That’s it, you’re done!

Congratulations on completing your incredible shark drawing. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and had a great time. Remember, working with shapes underwater can be challenging, but it’s an excellent exercise for artists of any level. Don’t worry if your first attempts aren’t perfect. Mistakes are part of the learning process.

Thank you for joining us on this adventure, and happy drawing!

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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