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How to Draw a Turtle

Learn how to draw a turtle with step by step directions. The shell could be filled with all kinds of fun patterns.

This turtle tutorial (try saying that real fast ten times!) is another fun one for young artists to try out. The shell and rim and legs are all made from the simplest of shapes, but when you put them together, and add kind of a droopy head, you end up with an adorable kind of cartoon version of a turtle.

The only dimension that students need to worry about are the layered legs and neck. The step by step instructions will help them draw that so no erasing is necessary.

Looking to encourage more creative thinking? Ask students to come up with their own shell pattern. Cartoon drawing just kind of lends itself in that direction.

Use Button below to Download a PDF Tutorial

Turtle Coloring Page

Turtle Coloring Page

How to Draw a Turtle Materials

  • Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase. Buying the pre-sharpened ones will save busy teachers a lot of time.
  • Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tip erasers, especially when erasing leftover pencil lines after tracing.
  • Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
  • Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
  • Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.

Step by Step Directions for How to Draw a Turtle

Time needed: 45 minutes.

How to Draw a Turtle

  1. Draw an upside down U shape.

  2. Draw the bottom edge of the shell.

  3. Draw two legs.

  4. Start the head.

  5. Finish the neck.

  6. Add two back legs.

  7. Draw the eyes, hair and tail.

  8. Finish with shell patterns and a horizon line.

  9. Trace with a marker and color.

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