Below you’ll find an easy step-by-step tutorial for how to draw a Manatee and a Manatee Coloring Page. These large and gentle creatures are struggling to survive right now.
Manatees, sometimes called sea cows, are pretty amazing aquatic mammals. Despite only living on plants (which makes them herbivores) they can live for up to 60 or 70 years. Or maybe because they only eat plants, they can live that long. Who knows, but that’s another conversation.
Meanwhile, these fascinating creatures are not officially endangered, but they are on a watch list, which is just one step away. It seems like they deserve some attention too, so this new tutorial is dedicated to them. It tries to simplify their adorably chubby body so young artists of all ages can learn how to draw a really good likeness of one.
Getting Started with Drawing Guides
The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing lesson is to show them how to use guides as a reference point.
You may have noticed that all of the tutorials on this site have a dashed line running through the center of each step, both in the horizontal and vertical direction. If students make their own centered lines on their own paper, before drawing, they will have an easy reference to follow.
For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, the tilted oval for the body needs to be sitting near the top of the paper, and a little to the right of center. It’s important to draw that shape big enough and high enough on the sheet of paper so that there’s room for the head and tail underneath.
When students get their drawing off to a good start, there’s a better chance of them feeling successful by the time they are done. Drawing skills are all about getting the size and placement of lines on paper, so having some visual reference point to get started, will always help anyone learn how to be a little more accurate.
So does that mean students need to get out a ruler to draw a big fat line down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the sheet of paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.
And now, on to the manatee drawing project.
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Use the Button below to download a PDF Tutorial
Preview of Manatee Coloring Page
- Black Sharpie Marker (affiliate link)
- Prang Crayons (affiliate link)
- Crayola Crayons (affiliate link)
Time needed: 35 minutes.
How to Draw a Manatee
- Draw a tilted egg shape.
- Add an upside down C.
- Add the mouth shape on the left.
- Draw an eye and nose details.
- Add the tail shape below.
- Finish the tail details.
- Draw two flippers.
- Add small fold lines and background.
- Trace with a marker and color.