how to draw a realistic dolphin

How to Draw a Realistic Dolphin

Step 1.

Start out by picking your pencils. I used an HB pencil for shading/sketching, a 2H for light lines/shading, and a B for dark lines/shading.

Step 2.

Start out by getting a basic sketch of the dolphin down. You can use the guidelines if you need them. HB pencils are usually best for shading.

Step 3.

Once you have the sketch down go ahead and shade in the background. I used an HB pencil and a paper towel for this step.

Step 4.

Clean up the dolphin with an eraser and try to hint at the splashing water.

Step 5.

Start using the 2H pencil to outline the dolphin, starting at the forehead. Be very gentle if you are using a 2H, you don't want to tear into the paper!

Step 6.

Go ahead and use the 2H/B pencils to lightly draw in the dolphin's mouth and eyes.

Step 7.

Use the 2H to define the outline up to the point where the body bends, just above the tail fin.

Step 8.

Now, roughly shade in the darker values using a B pencil. Don't worry about blending at first.

Step 9.

Start smoothing out your shading by working from the head backwards. You should only need the 2H for this. Use the B only when you need dark values.

Step 10.

Now shade in the fins and torso using the 2H and B combo.

Step 11.

Erase the sky and define the horizon in the background. Make sure that the dolphin's head is above the horizon. This will make it obvious that it is jumping out of the water.

Step 12.

Use the HB pencil and a blending stump/paper towel to darken the water.

Step 13.

Use an HB pencil and a blending stump/paper towel to darken the water.

Step 14.

lightly shade in the rest of the dolphin with an HB pencil. Don't shade to strongly because you'll still need to erase away some splashing water.

Step 15.

Start making your way down the tail-fin by smoothing out the shading with a 2H. Outline and shade around a few drops of water here and there.

Step 16.

And finish up the drawing by shading in the rest of the tail-fin and water. You may need to use a B or HB pencil towards the tip of the tail-fin since it's pretty dark. Again, I really had a lot of fun with this tutorial and I'm sure you will as well! Let me know if you post your drawing on Dragoart!

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Uploaded: September 2, 2011
Artist: Finalprodigy
Difficulty: Advanced  Advanced Skill Level
Steps: 16
Updated: September 2, 2011
P.O.V: 3/4
Favourited: 28 times
Artist comments

I don't think I've ever met a person that doesn't love dolphins, I mean, what's not to love? They're just so awesome. I'm sure you will all have as much fun with this drawing as I did. Get your pencils, paper, and eraser ready!