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How to Draw a Cartoon Penguin

Updated on April 25, 2013

Yes - Even You Can Learn to Draw a Cartoon Penguin.

That's what I said - even you. If you're one of those people who thinks you have no talent, you couldn't be more wrong.

Fact is, most people I have worked with over the years - those with previous drawing experience and those who have never drawn a straight line with a pencil - most people have a talent to draw. Sometimes that talent is buried deep inside and may require a little more encouragement to come to the surface - but it IS there.

Take a look at our little cartoon penguin friend over to the right. At first glance, it may seem that it's impossible to even try and draw something like that.

Take another look. This time look for basic shapes like circles and triangles. Can you see them in the cartoon penguin? Look at his eyes - they're just two simple circles with two dots inside each one. The circles aren't even the same size.

Now, you can draw two circles that aren't the same size, can't you? Why not take a look at the following step-by-step tutorial. Follow along and see what happens - you may just surprise yourself!

Get your pencil and some paper - let's begin!


Step 1: Draw the Basic Shapes

OK, so every drawing begins simply - with simple shapes.

In the case of our cartoon penguin, that means a couple of circular shapes called ovals.

Notice that one of the ovals is larger than the other. Also, the ovals are drawn at a certain specific angle.

Just take a deep breath and draw the two ovals like you see in the drawing.

When you're finished, connect the ovals with two curved lines as shown.

Step 2: Draw Two CIrcles for Eyes

Again, think simple shapes.

Draw two circles at the top of the upper oval shape.

Notice that the upper edges of these circles are outside the oval shape.

Remember, these two circles don't have to be the same size. The drawing will be more interesting if they are a bit different.

Step 3: Draw the Beak

Now this is going to be the toughest part of this drawing.

If you can draw these complex shapes, then the rest of the drawing is going to be easy.

To draw the beak (mouth), just think triangles and rectangles.

The top of the beak is just a flattened triangle shape, the teeth are a rectangle shape (Yes, I know penguin don't have teeth).

Step 4: Finish the Eyes

This step is easy. Just add two small dots inside those two circles - these are his eyes.

Add two thick, curved lines above each circle as shown - these are his eyebrows.

Notice that they are not connected to anything, they just sort of float there in the air. We can do that because this is a cartoon penguin.

Step 5: Draw the Feet

Let's move to the bottom part of our penguin.

To draw the feet, just draw two semicircular shapes.

Next, put some lines in the semicircles to indicate his toes.

Step 6: Add Flippers

Think shapes here.

The flippers are nothing more than extended triangles with a bit of a curve on one side.

Draw one up in the air and one pointing slightly downward as shown.

Also, add a single curved line from the lower left extending upward and then curving back down to the lower right of his abdomen as shown.

Step 7: Add Some Shading

Here's where the drawing really starts to look finished.

To do proper shading, simply use the flat edge of the pencil lead and press down hard.

Pressing harder will make the shading darker.

Add the Final Touches

OK, how does your penguin look?

For the final touches, add a few spikes of hair to the back side of his head.

Also, add a shadow line across the bottom, down by his feet as shown.

How did you do?

Remember, drawing is a challenge for most people - especially if you're trying it for the first time. If your penguin doesn't really look that good, keep trying. Think of each drawing you complete as a teacher for the next drawing. Each drawing you complete brings you closer to final perfection.

I will make you a deal - if you are frustrated (that's normal), just take that frustration and direct it toward more energy to help you draw more. After you go through this tutorial a few times, I guarantee you each drawing you complete will be better than the one before.

Good luck!


Take the Drawing Poll

What is the most difficult part of drawing a penguin?

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    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, DDE for the read and comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sounds most creative and looks so simple

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Texas

      Hey waynet - thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you like the Hub.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      5 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      This is great. I'm a fan of this type of art stuff myself and this was awesome! nice cartoon expression.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and the Vote Up Vacation Trip - I would sure like to know how your nephew does with this drawing.

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Great idea. This looks so cute and quite easy to do. My nephew will love it. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


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