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What You'll Be Creating

Creating a realistic dolphin drawing is easier than you think. You just need to follow some simple steps and you'll be able to create a cute dolphin drawing from scratch.

Dolphin drawings can be used for a variety of things, like posters, animations, and even logos! In this tutorial on how to draw a dolphin, we'll also show you different dolphin logos and designs to get you inspired and use your dolphin sketches for larger design projects.

Here's a realistic dolphin drawing turned into a logo for some inspiration:

Dolphin Logo with GradientDolphin Logo with GradientDolphin Logo with Gradient
Turn your dolphin drawings into amazing logos!

In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw a cute dolphin step by step, from the silhouette and the details of the head to the fins. You will learn how to plan the drawing of an animal body, how to make it look 3D with some basic rules of perspective, and how to shade in a basic way. You can use any tools you want! 

What You'll Learn in This Cute Dolphin Drawing Tutorial

  • How to draw a dolphin's body
  • How to draw a dolphin's head
  • How to draw dolphin fins
  • How to finish the drawing of a dolphin
A tip to start drawing dolphins is to have pictures or references to make it easier to draw the features and poses of the dolphin. 

1. How to Draw a Dolphin's Body

Step 1

Start your dolphin sketch by drawing the basic curve of the body. 

dolphin body curvedolphin body curvedolphin body curve

Step 2

Find the middle of this curve. Don't use any special tools—just estimate it.

dolphin body divide in halfdolphin body divide in halfdolphin body divide in half

Step 3

Divide each half of the curve into halves. This will help us with proportions.

dolphin body segmentsdolphin body segmentsdolphin body segments

Step 4

Draw a circle in the first quarter of the curve. It doesn't need to be a perfect circle!

dolphin head sketchdolphin head sketchdolphin head sketch

Step 5

Continue with your dolphin sketch by drawing an oval across another two quarters. Make it rotated, so that the curve is going right through it.

dolphin torso sketchdolphin torso sketchdolphin torso sketch

Step 6

Draw a row of circles, like beads on a string, until you reach the end of the curve. Make each gradually smaller than the previous one.

dolphin tail thicknessdolphin tail thicknessdolphin tail thickness
dolphin caudal partdolphin caudal partdolphin caudal part
dolphin tail silhouettedolphin tail silhouettedolphin tail silhouette

Step 7

Let's add some perspective to the dolphin sketch to make it more realistic. Don't worry, it won't hurt! Draw an oval on the front of the head, creating a flat "face".

dolphin facedolphin facedolphin face

Step 8

Cross the face in the middle to see this flatness better.

dolphin face perspectivedolphin face perspectivedolphin face perspective

Step 9

Can you see the form of the body in the dolphin sketch? Draw a line along its side. Remember it's you who decides where the side is!

dolphin body perspectivedolphin body perspectivedolphin body perspective

Step 10

Draw a line going through the bottom of the body of the dolphin sketch. It must follow the rhythm defined by the side line.

dolphin body bottomdolphin body bottomdolphin body bottom

Step 11

Draw the dolphin outline of the body, following this rhythm.

dolphin body outlinedolphin body outlinedolphin body outline

Step 12

You can add more form-creating lines along the body. They make it easier to see the depth of the drawing.

dolphin in perspectivedolphin in perspectivedolphin in perspective

2. How to Draw a Dolphin's Head

Step 1

Draw an oval on the front of the face. Remember that drawing dolphins from pictures or references can make the sketching process easier. 

dolphin mouthdolphin mouthdolphin mouth

Step 2

Draw a small circle attached to that oval.

dolphin snoutdolphin snoutdolphin snout

Step 3

Find the position of the eye with a curve ending with an oval.

dolphin eye positiondolphin eye positiondolphin eye position

Step 4

Place the eye inside the oval of the dolphin sketch. It should be shaped like an oval as well.

dolphin eye ovaldolphin eye ovaldolphin eye oval

Step 5

Time for the smile! Cross the small circle on the tip of the mouth with a curve.

dolphin smiledolphin smiledolphin smile

Step 6

From here, draw a curve towards the eye, and turn down right before it.

dolphin smile sketchdolphin smile sketchdolphin smile sketch

Step 7

You now have enough guide lines to draw the dolphin and the outline of the head.

dolphin head detailsdolphin head detailsdolphin head details

3. How to Draw Dolphin Fins

Step 1

Draw a curve ending with a tiny circle on the back of the dolphin. It should start roughly in the middle of the body.

dolphin dorsal findolphin dorsal findolphin dorsal fin

Step 2

Draw a curve between the circle and the body.

dolphin dorsal fin drawingdolphin dorsal fin drawingdolphin dorsal fin drawing

Step 3

Attach an upside-down "T" to the tail.

dolphin caudal findolphin caudal findolphin caudal fin

Step 4

Draw an upside-down heart in this area.

dolphin tail finsdolphin tail finsdolphin tail fins

Step 5

Draw two tiny circles under the "T".

dolphin tail caudal fin drawingdolphin tail caudal fin drawingdolphin tail caudal fin drawing

Step 6

Outline the shape suggested by the guide lines.

dolphin tail fins how to drawdolphin tail fins how to drawdolphin tail fins how to draw

Step 7

Again, use a curve ending with an oval to find a perfect spot for the pectoral fin.

dolphin pectoral fin positiondolphin pectoral fin positiondolphin pectoral fin position

Step 8

Another curve with a circle will create a part of the outline for the fin.

dolphin flipper sketchdolphin flipper sketchdolphin flipper sketch

Step 9

The fin is slightly wider than its base. Define this width with a flat curve.

dolphin flipper drawingdolphin flipper drawingdolphin flipper drawing

Step 10

Now you can outline the whole fin.

dolphin flipper outlinedolphin flipper outlinedolphin flipper outline

Step 11

Use the same method to draw the other fin.

dolphin pectoral finsdolphin pectoral finsdolphin pectoral fins
dolphin pair of flippersdolphin pair of flippersdolphin pair of flippers
dolphin flippers how to drawdolphin flippers how to drawdolphin flippers how to draw

4. How to Finish the Drawing of a Dolphin

Step 1

Now you have all the guide lines and the dolphin sketch, so we just need to put the final lines over them. You can take a clean sheet of paper and put it over the sketch if you're drawing traditionally. You can also try to erase most of the guide lines and darken the ones you want to keep with a darker tool.

Outline the basic lines of the dolphin's body.

dolphin body outlinedolphin body outlinedolphin body outline

Step 2

Fill the oval of the eye with dark shading, leaving a dot of shine.

dolphin eyedolphin eyedolphin eye

Step 3

Use gentler, lighter strokes to show some less prominent features, like wrinkles of the skin.

dolphin detailsdolphin detailsdolphin details

Step 4

Gently accentuate the lines of perspective to keep the body 3D.

dolphin 3d bodydolphin 3d bodydolphin 3d body

Step 5

Let's shade the dolphin now. Imagine the light source over its body, and fill the shadowed area with strokes in one direction.

dolphin basic shadingdolphin basic shadingdolphin basic shading

Step 6

To create more levels of shade, change the direction of the strokes.

dolphin cross hatch shadingdolphin cross hatch shadingdolphin cross hatch shading
dolphin simple drawingdolphin simple drawingdolphin simple drawing

Step 7

The perspective guide lines can be turned into rough details on the skin to keep their depth-defining function.

dolphin drawing detailsdolphin drawing detailsdolphin drawing details

Step 8

Finally, outline the silhouette with dark strokes to make it pop. And now you have it! A cute dolphin drawing. 

dolphin dark outlinedolphin dark outlinedolphin dark outline

Good Job! Now You Know How to Draw a Dolphin!

You have drawn a cute dolphin! If you want to learn more about these beautiful animals, as well as their relatives, check out this tutorial as well:

5 Best Realistic Dolphin Drawings Turned Into Logos (From Envato Elements)

For a low monthly fee, Envato Elements offers access to thousands of creative assets with unlimited downloads. Everything you need is available, including dolphin drawings, logos, fonts, and more. Envato Elements is ideal for graphic designers and illustrators who want to elevate their work or differentiate themselves from the competition. This is the ultimate creative subscription!

1. Splasher Dolphin Drawing Logo (AI, EPS, JPG)

Splasher Dolphin LogoSplasher Dolphin LogoSplasher Dolphin Logo

Gradient logos are eye-catching and modern. This dolphin logo has a blue gradient that goes from deep blue to a bright aqua color. Download this creative asset and get it in different files so you can work with it as you wish. The text is also completely editable, allowing you to add your company name and slogan.

2. Dolphin Outline Logo (EPS)

Dolphin Outline LogoDolphin Outline LogoDolphin Outline Logo

Get this minimal dolphin outline logo. If you're not into realistic dolphin drawings for a logo, we've got you covered with this simple design. The best thing about this dolphin outline logo is that its simplicity allows you to use it for a wide range of projects.

3. Dolphin Sports Logo (AI, EPS)

Blue Dolphin LogoBlue Dolphin LogoBlue Dolphin Logo

This dolphin logo is ideal for a water sports team such as swimming, surfing, or diving. The design features various shades of blue, making it both visually appealing and welcoming. Go ahead and modify this dolphin logo to your liking. 

4. Dolphin Sports Logo (AI, EPS, JPG, PDF, SVG)

Colorful Dolphin LogoColorful Dolphin LogoColorful Dolphin Logo

Are you looking for a professional and realistic dolphin drawing logo? This is the right option for you! Download this premium file to get dolphins of multiple colors so you can choose the one that best fits your brand.

5. Dolphin Logo: Blue Gradient (AI, EPS, SVG, PDF, PNG, JPG)

Dolphin with Blue GradientsDolphin with Blue GradientsDolphin with Blue Gradients

Here we get another cool dolphin logo with a beautiful gradient. This design is vibrant, modern, and elegant. Use it for creative industries, media, entertainment, education, and other fields. 

Discover Similar Tutorials to Dolphin Drawings & Dolphin Sketches

We hope this tutorial on how to draw a dolphin was useful. If you're looking for more drawing guides and articles, this is the place to be! We've selected the best drawing tutorials in this section to help you take your talent to the next level and keep drawing. Check them out:

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Gonzalo Angulo. Gonzalo is a staff writer with Envato Tuts+.

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