How To Draw a Tortoise

how to draw a tortoise

In this drawing lesson we’ll show you how to draw a Tortoise in 6 easy steps. This step by step lesson progressively builds upon each previous step until you get to the final rendering of a slow moving tortoise. Simply follow along with each step, drawing the portion shown in red for each step. Then, in just a few minutes you’ll have a simple and easy tortoise drawing!

Before we begin the How To Draw a Tortoise drawing lesson, here are some fun facts about tortoises you might find interesting, especially for kids.

  • Tortoises have dome-shaped shells called carapaces that fully enclose their limbs and tail for protection.
  • Their claws are blunt compared to claws of turtles that live partly in water. Tortoises walk on all four legs.
  • Different species of tortoises vary in size from 4 inches to over 200 pounds with diverse shells, colors and patterns.
  • Tortoises are herbivores, eating grasses, fruits, and vegetables found in their habitats like forests, scrublands or deserts.
  • They can live over 100 years in some species. Longevity is helped by slow metabolisms adapted for arid conditions.
  • Most tortoises dig burrows or use natural shelters for nesting and hiding from extreme weather and predators.
  • Many tortoises communicate through scent marks and rumbles or grunts, especially during breeding seasons.
  • Some tortoise species are threatened by habitat destruction, wildfires or overcollection for the pet trade.
  • Their slow movements and armored shells made tortoises a symbol of steadiness in some cultures and religions.
  • Despite their armor, tortoises remain vulnerable to dangers like dehydration, starvation or overgrazing of food sources.

How To Draw a Tortoise – Easy Step-by-Step Drawing Lesson

Step 1: Begin by drawing the tortoise’s huge shell.

how to draw a tortoise

Step 2: Draw the head and feet of the tortoise.

how to draw a tortoise

Step 3: Now you can draw the chin.

how to draw a tortoise

Step 4: Draw the claws on two feet.

how to draw a tortoise

Step 5: Sketch in the underside and tail of the big tortoise.

how to draw a tortoise

Step 6: Draw the details of the shell.

how to draw a tortoise

Well done! Now that you’ve completed How To Draw a Tortoise, considering adding some shading or coloring to make your shelled friend look realistic! Use the picture below as a guide to shade or color your Tortoise drawing.

tortoise drawing for kids


You did it! Congratulations on drawing a Tortoise! Your first try may not have gone as smoothly as you had hoped, but I’m sure after another attempt or two you will see a big improvement. The best way to learn how to draw a tortoise is with plenty of practice!

Are you looking for another fun animal to draw? How about learning how to quickly and easily draw a Chameleon?! Take a look here for another quick and easy drawing tutorial: How to Draw a Chameleon.

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