how to draw an illustration of a turtle

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Just like the animal, simply learn how to draw an illustration of a turtle one step at a time and take a look at a few variations to help you make the character simpler and easier to illustrate! Indeed, I will show you how to create this character in just five easy steps using basic shapes, lines and colors. In the second part of this lesson, I will show you a few modifications that can be done to end up with a simpler version of this character.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

Are you familiar enough with this animal to start working on it right away? If not, then you are invited to take a look at the illustration above. It shows all these special features that make this character so unique and special. Let's go through them one by one ...

  1. The top of the head of the turtle can be slightly flat even if it's made from a curved line.
  2. The shell is covered with light green patches.
  3. However, the shell itself is filled with a dark green color.
  4. A small pointed tail made from a triangular shape can be found behind the animal.
  5. All four legs are made from thick rectangles created with round corners.
  6. A small stripe is visible below the shell of the turtle.
  7. Nails made from small oval shapes can be found on all legs.
  8. The neck is strong and located near the bottom of the shell.
  9. The mouth is made from a simple line and the top part is slightly sharp.
  10. Eyes are large and made from circles. Pupils are created with small black dots.

Good work! Now that we are more familiar with this character, let's proceed with the drawing lesson itself. You can use pencils and some paper or a vector application to create the animal.

Step 1 - adding basic shapes to create a simple guideline

First, let's sketch a few shapes to help us through the drawing process. You can start by drawing the head using a medium circle. The neck is created from a small rectangle. The shell is drawn using a long curved line. Finally, create two legs using rectangles to complete our template.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

step 2 - let's draw the turtle!

On the template, sketch a few lines to create the illustration of a turtle. As you can see below, some areas can be tricky. Indeed, it can be a good idea to pay attention to parts like the mouth, the shape of the shell, the legs and the forehead. Once you are done, you can erase all orange shapes created earlier.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

step 3 - adding more elements to the character

Inside the head, draw an eye using a small circular shape. A large dot can be used to form the pupil. On the bottom of the shell, sketch a long irregular line to close this part. A tail made from a tiny triangle is added behind the turtle. Finally, both legs that can be found on the other side of the picture are also drawn using long lines.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

step 4 - drawing patches and nails

A few more details are needed before we can add color to this illustration of a turtle. Let's begin with the patches that are covering the shell of the animal. All these patches are made from short curved lines. You can complete the drawing aspect of this lesson by adding tiny nails on the legs found in front of the image.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

step 5 - it's all about the green color

Needless to say that only one color is required to complete this picture: green. A bright version is needed inside the head, the legs and the tail. The shell can be darker while patches found on this one can be much brighter. Finally, make sure that both legs found on the other side of the character are darker.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

Excellent ... but can we make this character even simpler?

These are all steps needed to draw this cartoon turtle properly. As you can see below, this cartoon version is rather simple. Believe it or not, we can still make this illustration simpler and cuter. Let's learn a few tricks to create an illustration of a turtle that can be done by anyone, including beginners.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

drawing a different shape for the shell

The original version was created with a realistic shell (at least the shape of it). If you don't want to use curved lines to create this part of the character, then you can always use a rectangle to form the shell of this turtle. This is not a huge modification, but it can make a small difference.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

making the shell rounder

On the opposite, you can use a real curved line to illustrate the shell of this animal. While the original version was filled with subtle details near the middle, this shell is definitely created from a simple curved line. It's just a small change, but adding all these modifications can help you create an illustration of a turtle that is cuter and simpler.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

big and thick legs made from rectangles

Let's bring back the original shell for this example. Here, the modification can be seen in the shapes used to illustrate the legs of the cartoon turtle. Drawing large and thick rectangular shapes can be easier than sketching curved lines mix with a simple perspective.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

Let's remove all details from the mouth

In the original version, the mouth was made from an irregular line and the top of the mouth was slightly pointed and sharp. In this example, the mouth is made from a regular line and the tip of the mouth is now smooth and round. Simpler for sure! :)

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

A simple dot can be used to illustrate the eyes

In the wonderful world of cartoons, eyes are often made from a large circular shape and a simple dot. But why not just use a dot to create the eyes? This alternative is also relevant, but the character feels less expressive when the large circle is removed. 

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

changing the color of all strokes and outlines

This version is filled with lines that are green. No more black outlines. It's not necessarily simpler, but the result is definitely more interesting. Colors are an important part of your image and in this example of an illustration of a turtle, adding more green colors can be a good idea.

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

Why draw lines when you can simply create shapes!

No more outlines. In this version, the character is only created from solid shapes. It's not necessarily less complicated to achieved, but the result does look simpler compared to the original illustration. 

How to draw an illustration of a turtle

Good job drawing an illustration of a turtle like this one!

As you can see, drawing a simple version of a character can be done using various techniques. It's all up to you to decide the level of details you are ready to draw and the usage you want to make of this beautiful image. Don't hesitate to try more characters from the same series and feel free to create your own version of a cartoon turtle using basic shapes, curved lines and most importantly ... green colors! :)


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