how to sketch an elephant, african elephant

How to Sketch an Elephant, African Elephant

Step 1.

For these sketches I used charcoal pencils. Graphite pencils can work just as well. I used HB charcoal for sketching and general shading and 6B charcoal for dark shading. HB and 6B graphite would be decent substitutes if you are using regular pencils.

Step 2.

Start off by sketching very lightly with an HB pencil. I always start with ultra basic shapes and then build basic features on top of those shapes. Since you are sketching, you don't have to worry too much about details and proportions. Just draw something that resembles an elephant!

Step 3.

Start adding a bit more detail with bolder, more defined lines. Don't worry too much about making your sketch clean or perfect. Try to make the elephants' outlines a bit bolder than the rest of the lines.

Step 4.

I roughly shaded over my drawing with soft charcoal then blending in my shading with a paper towel. I then added some quick highlights here and there on the elephants. You can take these sketches as far as you please. I decided to call my sketches done here and moved on to the final elephant sketch.

Step 5.

Use an HB pencil to lightly sketch in some basic shapes. These will serve as starting points for the drawing.

Step 6.

Lightly add in the basic forms of the elephant's head. Keep your outlines soft and don't get too caught up with details.

Step 7.

Lightly sketch in the rest of the body's features.

Step 8.

Start finalizing your line work by making your outlines bolder using the same HB pencil. Try moving from top to bottom when reworking your lines.

Step 9.

Finish up your outlines. Don't worry too much about cleaning up the lighter lines. As long as your outlines are well defines you're good to go.

Step 10.

For this step I used a stick of 6B charcoal and very lightly shaded over my drawing.

Step 11.

I used a piece of paper towel to blend in my shading. It's alright if your original lines fade a bit. Just try to blend in your rough shading as much as you can for now.

Step 12.

I used a hard white eraser here to roughly add in highlights to the elephant's head. Don't worry too much about making the highlights perfect.

Step 13.

Add some rough shading to the elephant's head using a 6B pencil. Try to concentrate on the shadows.

Step 14.

Use an HB pencil to go over your rough shading to smooth it out. Add some wrinkles to the elephant's head as well. Go ahead do a bit of work on your background as well. I just used an eraser to add a very basic landscape in the background.

Step 15.

Use an eraser to add some basic highlights to the elephant's body now.

Step 16.

Use a 6B pencil to add some rough shading to the elephant's body.

Step 17.

Here I used a stick of 6B charcoal to add some rough dark shading to the background.

Step 18.

Now use a blending stump or a paper towel to quickly blend in your rough shading.

Step 19.

Start finalizing your sketch by cleaning up your shading. Try to move from left to right if you are right handed (right to left if you are a lefty). I cleaned up my background a bit with a kneaded eraser and a blending stump. I also cleaned up the shadows and outlines of the front legs and added a some basic wrinkles.

Step 20.

Finish up your sketch by cleaning up the shading on the right side. Remember that you can get as detailed as you want to with your sketch. This was as far as I wanted to go with my sketch. Let me know how you fair with this sketch and if you have any questions regarding it!

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Uploaded: February 23, 2013
Artist: Finalprodigy
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 20
Updated: February 24, 2013
P.O.V: Side
Favourited: 9 times
Artist comments

Hey everyone, Here's a tutorial on how to sketch an African elephant. Hopefully this tutorial will show you how to make a quick sketch look more developed and realistic.