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Drawing a dolphin step-by-step tutorial

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Why use an easy grid system for learning how to draw a dolphin? We use grids and guiding systems all the time when driving between dashed lines on a highway or walking on sidewalks in cities. Not respecting these guidelines often mean troubles and even accidents. Drawing a dolphin that looks like a half-eaten banana is not a crime, however, if you’d like to be proud of your dolphin drawing you’ll need to follow at least some guidelines.

The nice thing is that after going through this dolphin-drawing tutorial a few times you will remember the proportions and will not need this grid anymore. 

drawing a dolphin in 9 easy steps

We’ll be drawing a dolphin jumping out of water – a happy and smiling one! Dolphins are most famous for their friendliness to humans and animals, so we are going to draw a happy, friendly dolphin.

How to draw a dolphin in 9 easy steps

Step 1

We start by outlining the dolphin’s body, not the nose like other tutorials recommend. We do the body first because it’s the largest part of the dolphin and we need to make sure that it all will fit nicely on a piece of paper. On your easy grid printout mark a few intersections where the body outline crosses the grid lines. 

start your dolphin drawing by outlining the body

Leave enough space on the left and right for the dolphin’s nose and especially for its tail.

Step 2

Outlining an opened mouth of our dolphin – the upper and the lower jaws. 

dolphin's head outline

Step 3

Next, we should mark places for the 3 fins and the tail.

outlining fins and tail

Step 4

Our dolphin needs teeth and a tongue. Dolphins have pretty small teeth just for holding the prey, not for chewing food. For our dolphin drawing, we will make teeth larger, but in reality, they should be 2-3 times smaller.

how to draw a dolphin's mouth

Step 5

Make sure to place the dolphin’s eye on vertical line #2. 

drawing an eye

Step 6

The body shape of our dolphin needs some fine-tuning. The part close to the tail should be thinner and the belly just a little bigger.

finalizing the dolphin's body outlines

Step 7

It’s time for pectoral fins and the dorsal fin on the back! Don’t forget about the tail – otherwise, this dolphin doesn’t have a chance to jump out of water.

how to draw a tail and fins

Step 8

Look at this beautiful sea creature! Time for coloring its body. A little red for the tongue and grayish-blue for the belly.

coloring of the dolphin drawing

Step 9

The top part can be dark blue or a little lighter – showing a reflection of the blue sky on the dolphin’s wet skin.

finished drawing of a dolphin

Our dolphin is done! It looks happy and full of life! Now you know how to draw a dolphin.

To practice drawing a dolphin a few more times, please download our Printable guide here

drawing a dolphin printable guide


Drawing things is a very rewarding activity. It trains and develops your brain improving your communication skills. Even simple things like this easy-to-draw dolphin tutorial can help kids to develop a sense of composition and balance.

In addition, we are going to mention a few interesting facts about dolphins.

  • Dolphins are highly intelligent;
  • They have emotions, personalities, and can recognize themselves in a mirror;
  • Dolphins give each other names and use high-pitch sounds to talk to each other;
  • There are 40 known species of dolphins;
  • Dolphins are mammals and need to come to the surface of the water to breathe through their blowhole;
  • They are very social, living in groups that hunt and play together;

We’ve just learned that these beautiful animals are actually super-smart. There are more animal-drawing tutorials with interesting facts on our website.

Other drawing tutorials:

Art supplies you might need for drawing a dolphin