Drawing dinosaurs is a favorite pastime for many kids and adults alike. Knowing how to draw a cool cartoon dinosaur gives you an easy drawing to perform to impress your friends and family. Below you’ll find a step-by-step on how to create a basic cartoon dinosaur drawing for kids that is both cute and simple to pull off.
What Is a Dinosaur?
Most people learn what a dinosaur is when they’re kids, but just in case you didn’t, dinosaurs are a family of large reptiles that lived on the Earth millions of years before humans ever existed. These massive animals came in all shapes and sizes, and they are often featured in movies, art, and TV shows.
What Dinosaurs Can You Draw?
Some of the most popular dinosaurs that people draw are famous species like the stegosaurus, T. rex, and triceratops.
The cartoon dinosaur you’ll learn to draw below is a generic dinosaur. However, you could easily add identifying details such as extra horns, frills, or markings to make the cartoon look more like one species or another.
Why Draw Dinosaurs?
Dinosaurs are a fun subject to draw for all ages. Since there are many different kinds of dinosaurs you can draw, these creatures spark the imagination and can help inspire dozens of drawings.
Here are a few reasons why dinosaurs are a good subject to draw:
- Variety: There are hundreds of different dinosaurs you can draw, and each dinosaur you draw will make you better at drawing over time. Dinosaurs also have bodies, heads, tails, and details like horns and spikes that give you lots of practice drawing different organic shapes.
- Creativity: Since dinosaurs died out long before humans were ever around, it’s impossible to know exactly what they looked like. All we know of them are their fossils. This means you have a lot of freedom to draw dinosaurs however you want. Let your imagination run wild!
- Popularity: Dinosaurs are popular with all ages. You can draw them in either a cartoon or realistic style. You can also make a simple dinosaur drawing or as detailed as you like. Either way, dinosaurs are one of the most easily recognizable subjects you can draw even if you don’t have much practice sketching.
How to Create an Easy Dinosaur Drawing Step-by-step Guide
Step 1: Start with the head
The first step in drawing a cute dinosaur is to start with the head. To make sure that your head shape is symmetrical, start the drawing by drawing two opposing lines intersecting with each other to form a cross shape. These will be your guidelines for drawing the head.
Create a head shape that is somewhat flat across the top to form the skull and tapered to a point at the bottom to form the dinosaur’s jawline.
Step 2: Draw the dinosaur’s ears and snout
After creating the dinosaur’s basic head shape, you’re going to draw in the details on the head such as the ears and the dinosaur’s snout. The ears are added by placing a semi-circle on either side of the top half of the basic head shape, angled slightly outward at a diagonal from the head.
To create the dinosaur’s snout, draw a large oval shape in the bottom half of the guidelines as shown in the picture above. Erase any leftover lines.
Step 3: Add the finer details to the face of the dinosaur drawing
After drawing the more defined parts of the dinosaur’s face, it’s time to add in the finer details. Draw the dinosaur’s eyes on the guideline at either side of the main intersection, leaving a white dot in the middle to show a reflection for realism.
Draw the dinosaur’s eyebrows and an oval on either side of the bottom guideline for the dinosaur’s nostrils.
Finally, add the dinosaur’s horns on the top of the basic head shape and draw some shading lines in the ear shapes to give them a lifelike appearance.
Step 4: Move on to the body and tail
With the head of the dinosaur complete, it’s time to move on to the body and tail. Draw the basic body shape by drawing a U-shaped open oval on the bottom of the dinosaur’s snout, flattening it slightly on the bottom.
Draw the tail off to the side of this body shape by making it wider at the base and tapering it to a blunted point at the end.
Step 5: Draw the front legs and feet
Draw the dinosaur’s front legs and feet. These can be drawn using two lines apiece as the legs, then adding flattened oval shapes at the bottom to act as the feet.
Drawing one oval slightly behind the other oval as shown above helps create the illusion of depth in your drawing and makes it look as if the dinosaur has one foot in front of the other. Erase any leftover lines.
Step 6: Add the back feet to the dinosaur drawing
Add the dinosaur’s back feet. The only part of the dinosaur’s foot shape shown will be the bottom of the dinosaur’s feet. To draw the feet, draw two larger ovals to either side and overlap your dinosaur’s front legs, adding three rounded humps on the top of the oval to act as the dinosaur’s toes.
You’ll need to erase some of the linework from the dinosaur’s front legs to show that the back feet are closer in space than the front feet. This helps create perspective in your drawing.
Step 7: Draw the details on the feet and tail
Add details to the dinosaur’s rear feet and its tail. Add three blunted triangles over each foot for the dinosaur’s claws. Then add some larger blunted triangles to the top of the tail shape to form the dinosaur’s tail spikes.
Step 8: Add the finishing touches
Draw the finishing touches. You can add a few circles on the tail shape to give your dinosaur spots. Adding more circles on the bottom of the dinosaur’s feet can be used to show the dinosaur’s footpads. This should give you a finished-line drawing of a cute cartoon dinosaur.
Step 9: Color and complete this cute cartoon dinosaur drawing
After you have a finished drawing of a dinosaur to work with, you can fill in the colors and textures you want to use.
The example above uses a combination of neutral earth tones and orange. However, you could color your dinosaur any combination of colors you want. You can also add stripes to your dinosaur rather than spots, or a scale pattern.
The options are endless when it comes to customizing your dinosaur once the initial line drawing is complete.
Dinosaur Drawing FAQ
Is Drawing a Dinosaur Easy?
Drawing dinosaurs is as easy or hard as you make it. However, drawing dinosaurs in a realistic style requires a lot more attention to details such as shading, textures, and proportions.
How Can You Make a Realistic Dinosaur Drawing?
Drawing cartoon dinosaurs is a good way to get acquainted with the basic body shapes that make them up. However, if you want to draw dinosaurs that look more realistic, here are a few tips for doing it:
- Pay attention to negative space. Sometimes when you’re learning to draw from reference illustrations or photographs, it’s easier to draw the negative space you see rather than the object itself. This can often give you a more realistic body form than if you tried to draw the dinosaur.
- Learn how to use realistic shading. Shading is one of the most useful ways to make your drawings look more realistic. Shading adds both depth and texture to your dinosaur drawings.
- Look at modern reptiles like snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and lizards. Study references for snake scales, crocodile eyes, and other reptile photographs to draw inspired dinosaur details.
- Ground your painting. If you draw a dinosaur floating in white space on your paper, this will not look very realistic. Instead, draw a ground line and sketch in shadows to show where the dinosaur exists in space. Adding objects to the forefront and background can help add perspective and show the dinosaur’s size, too.
What Supplies Do You Need to Draw a Dinosaur?
You don’t need many supplies to draw a dinosaur. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to do cool dinosaur drawings:
- Black outlining tool: You’ll want a black outlining tool like a pencil or pen to create the linework for your dinosaur. A black outlining tool can also be used to help create some of your darker shading and details.
- Colors: Adding colors to your dinosaur drawing will help it look more vibrant and can also add depth to your picture. If you want your dinosaur to look natural, it’s a good idea to stick to earth tones like tan, forest green, and shades of brown. If you’re drawing a cartoon dinosaur, you can use any color you want without worrying about realism.
You can draw dinosaurs on a wide variety of objects, from different types of paper to leather, glass, and even metal. Practicing your dinosaur drawings on high-quality white paper is the best way to improve your skills to the point you can engrave your dinosaur drawings on more expensive materials.
Can You Draw Dinosaurs For a Career?
Whether you like to draw cartoon dinosaurs or realistic dinosaurs, it’s possible to turn an interest in drawing dinosaurs into a career. Paleoartists are artists that do formal recreations of what dinosaurs look like based on fossils and other dinosaur remains that have been discovered by scientists.
If you’d rather draw cartoon dinosaurs as a career, you can pursue a job in illustration or graphic design. Either way, a portfolio of dinosaur drawings is a good way to show off your versatility as an artist.
Step-by-step Dinosaur Drawing Guide Conclusion
Dinosaurs are an easy and cute topic to draw, especially if you’re learning to develop your own cartoon style. It’s easy to customize these impressive reptiles to look exactly how you want. Hopefully, the step-by-step dinosaur drawing guide above will give you all the tips you need to get started drawing some dinosaurs of your own.