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How to Draw a Penguin

This post is part of a series called Learn How to Draw.
How to Draw a Giraffe and a Giraffe Pattern
How to Draw a Sheep
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you want to learn how to draw a penguin? In this tutorial, I will show you how to do it step by step. 

These animals have a body that can be easily simplified without losing realism, so you don't need to be an expert at drawing to try it! I will show you how to draw both an adult emperor penguin and a baby of this species.

1. How to Draw a Penguin's Body

Step 1

Draw a long, vertical oval. Sketch it lightly to keep these lines barely visible. This way, you'll be able to cover or erase them later.

draw oval for body

Step 2

Put a tilted oval on top. This will be the shoulder area.

draw oval for shoulders

Step 3

Put another oval on the bottom. This will be the under-tail area.

draw oval for udnertail

Step 4

Put one more oval on top. This will be a compressed neck.

draw oval for neck

Step 5

One more oval—this will be the head!

draw oval for head

Step 6

Outline the whole body as suggested by the shapes.

outline the body

2. How to Draw a Penguin's Head

Step 1

Draw a curve across the head.

cross the head

Step 2

Add another curve to sketch the structure of the beak.

sketch the beak curve

Step 3

Add an oval almost at the tip of the beak. Make it cross the curve of the beak about one-third of the way from the bottom.

sketch the beak shape

Step 4

Outline the head and the beak.

outline the beak

Step 5

Sketch the area for the eye, coming gradually to the actual eye:

sketch the eye area
sketch the eye
sketch the eye detail

Step 6

Draw the eyelids.

sketch the eyelid
sketch the eye shape
sketch outer eyelid
finish the eye

Step 7

Add some details to the beak.

add beak detail
penguin beak drawing
how to draw a beak

3. How to Draw a Penguin's Feet and Wings

Step 1

Sketch simple feet. The legs are hidden, so we only see a part of the calves and feet.

sketch legs structure

Step 2

Draw ovals around the legs to give them volume.

sketch legs volume

Step 3

Draw "tridents" to create a simple structure for the feet.

sketch feet structure

Step 4

Put an oval around each toe.

sketch feet volume

Step 5

Add oval-shaped toenails.

sketch toenails

Step 6

Put some webbing between the toes.

sketch webbed feet

Step 7

Add the oval shoulders.

sketch oval shoulders

Step 8

Sketch the shape of the wings.

sketch penguin wings

Step 9

Add some volume-defining ovals.

sketch shape of penguin wings

Step 10

Outline the wings.

outline oenguin wings

Step 11

Outline the neck and mark the center of the body to better see its 3D form.

sketch depth of penguin body

Step 12

Sketch the pattern.

draw emperor penguin pattern

4. How to Finish a Drawing of a Penguin

Step 1

Time for the final lines! You can now either erase the lines to fade them, switch to a darker tool, or put a new sheet of paper over the sketch. Either way, now you're allowed to press as hard as you need.

Outline the whole body as the sketch suggests.

outline whole penguin body

Step 2

Draw the details: the lines of the pattern and the scales on the feet (we only see them at a distance, so don't worry about being very accurate here).

add detail to penguin body

Step 3

Shade the eye.

draw penguin eye
shade penguin eye

Step 4

Darken the parts that will be the darkest: the head, the band of the pattern, and the toenails.

shade penguin head

Step 5

Darken them even more, adding some basic shading. Darken the pattern on the wing and the tip of the tail as well.

darken penguin head

Step 6

The "cape" will be dark as well, just not as dark. Shade it gently, using many short lines that will simulate the feathers.

draw penguin pattern

Step 7

Add some shading to define the 3D form of the penguin's body.

shade penguin body

Step 8

Finish the drawing by adding more of the same—more darkening, more shading—until you're satisfied with the result.

finish penguin drawing

5. How to Draw a Baby Penguin

Step 1

Drawing a baby penguin is really similar, so it should be easy for you now! Sketch a circle. Again, this is the sketching phase, so keep the lines light.

draw oval for the belly

Step 2

Put an oval on it, creating a snowman.

draw oval for the shoudlers

Step 3

Put half an oval on it.

draw half oval of the head

Step 4

Outline the body.

outline the body

Step 5

Add two ovals for the legs.

add penguin legs

Step 6

Add ovals for feet.

add ovals for feet

Step 7

Sketch the wings.

sketch baby penguin wings
outline baby penguin wings

Step 8

Mark the face area and sketch the eye.

sketch baby penguin eyes

Step 9

Sketch the beak.

sketch baby penguin beak

Step 10

Draw a line across the middle of the body to show its 3D form.

give depth to the body

Step 11

Add the toes and make the beak more detailed.

add toes and beak

Step 12

Add the toenails.

add penguin toenails

Step 13

Mark the pattern on the head.

draw baby penguin pattern

Step 14

The sketch is done! You can finish the drawing now.

outline baby penguin
shade baby penguin


finish baby penguin drawing

Good Job!

Now you know how to draw an adult penguin and a baby penguin! Do you want to try other easy drawing tutorials? Here are some propositions:

how to draw penguin step by step

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