How To Draw A Whale: A Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

  • 5 min read
  • Jan 02, 2024
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Learning how to draw a whale can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply looking for a creative outlet, this step-by-step guide will help you master the art of drawing these majestic creatures. From understanding their anatomy to capturing their unique features, we’ll take you through the process of creating a stunning whale drawing. So grab your pencils and let’s dive in!


Whales are fascinating creatures that inhabit the vast oceans of our planet. Their massive size, graceful movements, and gentle nature have captivated the human imagination for centuries. Drawing a whale allows us to appreciate their beauty and share our admiration for these magnificent animals. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a realistic and visually appealing whale drawing.

Before we start, it’s important to mention that drawing is a skill that can be developed with practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out as expected. With time and dedication, you’ll improve your technique and create stunning artworks. So let’s get started on our journey to master the art of drawing a whale!

Understanding the Anatomy

Before you begin drawing, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of a whale’s anatomy. Whales have a streamlined body shape with a large head, a long and flexible body, and a tail fin known as a fluke. They also have two pectoral fins located near the head and a dorsal fin on their back. By familiarizing yourself with these features, you’ll be able to accurately depict a whale in your drawing.

When sketching the body of a whale, start with a simple oval shape to represent the main body. Then, add a smaller oval shape at one end to form the head. Connect the two ovals with a curved line to create the whale’s body. Next, draw a triangle-shaped fluke at the other end of the body and add the fins and other details as you see fit.

Choosing the Right Tools

Having the right tools is crucial for creating a successful whale drawing. Pencils are the most commonly used tool for sketching, and you can choose between graphite or colored pencils depending on your preference. Graphite pencils are ideal for creating detailed and realistic drawings, while colored pencils can add a vibrant touch to your artwork.

In addition to pencils, you’ll also need erasers, a sharpener, and paper. Erasers come in handy for correcting mistakes and refining your drawing, while a sharpener ensures that your pencils are always ready for use. When it comes to paper, choose a type that is suitable for your drawing technique. Smooth paper works well for detailed drawings, while textured paper can add depth and dimension to your artwork.

Mastering the Shading Techniques

Shading is a crucial aspect of any drawing, as it adds depth and realism to your artwork. To create a realistic whale drawing, you’ll need to master different shading techniques. One of the most commonly used techniques is called cross-hatching, where you crisscross lines to create a shaded effect. Another technique is called blending, where you use a blending tool or your fingers to smooth out the pencil strokes and create a seamless transition between light and dark areas.

When shading your whale drawing, observe the light source and imagine where the shadows would fall. This will help you create a three-dimensional effect and make your drawing appear more realistic. Experiment with different shading techniques and find the one that works best for you. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.

Adding Details and Textures

Once you’ve mastered the basics of drawing a whale, it’s time to add details and textures to bring your artwork to life. Whales have unique patterns and textures on their skin, which can be challenging to recreate. Start by observing reference images or studying real whales to get a sense of their skin patterns.

Use your pencil to create fine lines and dots to mimic the textures on the whale’s skin. Pay attention to the direction and size of the lines to create a realistic effect. Experiment with different shading techniques to add depth and dimension to your drawing. Don’t be afraid to add your own artistic touch and make your whale drawing unique.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Drawing a Whale

Like any other art form, drawing a whale has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of them in detail:


1. Creativity and Self-Expression: Drawing allows you to express your creativity and showcase your unique style. Drawing a whale can be a great way to explore your artistic side and create something visually striking.

2. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Engaging in art activities like drawing has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Drawing a whale can be a therapeutic experience that helps you unwind and focus on the present moment.

3. Learning Opportunities: Drawing a whale requires observation and research. By studying their anatomy and behavior, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about these fascinating creatures.

4. Sense of Achievement: Completing a whale drawing can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-confidence. Seeing your progress over time can be incredibly rewarding.

5. Connection with Nature: Whales are majestic creatures that remind us of the beauty and vastness of the natural world. Drawing a whale allows you to connect with nature and appreciate its wonders.

6. Sharing and Inspiring Others: Once you’ve mastered the art of drawing a whale, you can share your artwork with others and inspire them to explore their own creativity. Art has the power to bring people together and create meaningful connections.

7. Transferable Skills: Drawing a whale requires patience, attention to detail, and perseverance. These skills can be transferred to other areas of your life, such as problem-solving and critical thinking.


1. Time and Patience: Drawing a whale can be a time-consuming process that requires patience and dedication. If you’re looking for quick results, this may not be the best art form for you.

2. Technical Skills: Drawing a realistic whale requires a certain level of technical skill and knowledge. Beginners may find it challenging to capture the intricate details and proportions of these creatures.

3. Criticism and Comparison: Sharing your artwork with others opens you up to criticism and comparison. It’s important to remember that art is subjective, and everyone has their own unique style and preferences.

4. Limited Subject Matter: While whales are fascinating subjects to draw, some artists may prefer a wider range of subjects and themes. If you’re looking for variety in your artwork, consider exploring other subjects as well.

5. Cost of Materials: Drawing requires certain materials like pencils, erasers, and paper. While these materials are relatively affordable, they can add up over time, especially if you’re using high-quality supplies.

6. Frustration and Mistakes: Like any skill, drawing takes time and practice to master. It’s normal to feel frustrated or make mistakes along the way. Embrace these challenges as learning opportunities and keep pushing forward.

7. Perfectionism: Striving for perfection can hinder your artistic growth and enjoyment. Remember that art is subjective, and there is no right or wrong way to create. Embrace imperfections and allow yourself to experiment and take risks.

Table: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Draw a Whale

Step Description
Step 1 Start with a simple oval shape for the main body of the whale.
Step 2 Add a smaller oval shape at one end to form the head.
Step 3 Connect the two ovals with a curved line to create the body.
Step 4 Draw a triangle-shaped fluke at the other end of the body.
Step 5 Add two pectoral fins near the head of the whale.
Step 6 Draw a dorsal fin on the back of the whale.
Step 7 Add details and textures to bring your whale drawing to life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What materials do I need to draw a whale?

To draw a whale, you’ll need pencils (graphite or colored), erasers, a sharpener, and paper. Optional materials include blending tools and colored pencils.

2. Can I draw a whale without any prior drawing experience?

Yes, you can draw a whale