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How to Draw a Sea Turtle : Easy Step-By-Step Tutorial

Welcome to my beginner-friendly tutorial where you’ll learn how to draw a sea turtle in just a few simple steps. This step-by-step guide is designed for everyone, from kids to adults, and no prior drawing experience is required. By following my easy instructions, pictures and useful tips, you’ll be able to create a stunning sea turtle drawing that will impress your friends and family. So, grab your pencils and let’s dive into the world of art with these magnificent marine creatures!

In this tutorial, I’ll break down the process of drawing a sea turtle into manageable steps. From sketching the basic shapes to adding intricate details of the shell and face, we’ll guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re a beginner or an aspiring artist, this tutorial is perfect for you.

Before we start if you’re looking for more easy-peasy drawing tutorials check out this how to draw a monarch butterfly or this how to draw a mermaid guide.

And if you’re looking for more turtle art, this step by step sea turtle painting tutorial will mesmerize you. It’s an enchanting under-the-sea ocean scene complete with coral, sea weed and a star fish!

Now let’s get moving!

Tips for Drawing a Realistic Sea Turtle

When drawing a sea turtle, paying attention to key details can make your artwork more realistic and captivating. In this section, we provide some helpful tips to guide you in capturing the distinct features of a sea turtle, from the pattern of its shell to the texture of its skin.

  • Look at reference pictures of sea turtles to study their anatomy, proportions, and unique features.
  • Start with light pencil strokes to create a basic framework before adding details.
  • Use bony geometrical shapes, known as scutes, to represent the turtle’s shell. These scutes are tightly packed together.
  • The scutes in the centre of the shell often have a hexagonal shape, creating a distinctive pattern.
  • Surround the central hexagons with a ring of pentagons and irregular shapes to complete the shell’s design.
  • Pay attention to the bordered outer edge of the shell, which is typically made of small rectangular irregular shapes.
  • Depict the turtle’s skin as leathery, resembling a mosaic pattern.
  • Consider adding claws as an optional realistic detail since sea turtles have them.
  • Keep in mind that the shape of a sea turtle’s shell can vary from oval to heart-shaped, allowing for some creative interpretation.
  • Pay attention to the placement and size of the turtle’s eyes, as they often have a distinct position on the sides of the head.
  • Consider using colored pencils, watercolors, or markers to add vibrant hues to your sea turtle drawing.

If you’re looking to learn how to draw a realistic turtle with shading and depth using a pencil, check out this video tutorial on YouTube.

Yield: 1

How To Draw Sea Turtle: Step By Step Guide

How To Draw Sea Turtle: Step By Step Guide
Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Pencil crayons, markers, crayons (Optional)


  1. Take a ruler and draw the reference guide. This will help keep the sea turtle in proper proportion and symmetrical. Don't press too hard with pencil as you'll be erasing this guide in a later step..How to draw sea turtle shell 1
  2. Draw the top part of the turtle to draw sea turtle shell 2
  3. Now draw the curved top half of the turtle shell. Use the reference guide to keep each side of the turtle shell relatively to draw sea turtle shell 3
  4. Draw the bottom curved portion of the turtle shell. The overall shell shape is like a heart or spear. The shell is wider at the top and has a  pointy tapered to draw a sea turtle shell 4
  5. Take your pencil and sketch in the head of the sea turtle. It’s new is fairly straight and the top part of its head is rounded. how to draw sea turtle head
  6. Draw the sea turtles eyes on the sides of it’s to draw sea turtle eyes
  7. Sketch in the front flippers. Use the diagonal lines of the reference sketch to guide the placement of the centre of each flipper. how to draw sea turtle front flippers
  8. Now draw the back flippers. Again use the bottom diagonal lines of the reference guide for placement of the back flippers. The shapes of the back flippers are like spears which are wide at the top when then taper to pointy to draw sea turtle back flippers
  9. Erase the reference guide. Now it’s time to draw the turtle shell pattern. Draw the outer border on the to draw sea turtle shell pattern 1
  10. Fill in the outer shell border with some irregular, rectangular to draw sea turtle shell pattern outer
  11. Draw the centre pattern of the sea turtle shell. The centre shapes is a line of to draw sea turtle shell pattern hexagons
  12. Surround the centre hexagons with a ring of pentagon-like to draw sea turtle shell pattern pentagons
  13. Fill in the eyes and leave a tiny portion white which are the light reflections in the to draw sea turtle eyes 2
  14. Optional step: color in the sea turtle shell with a brown pencil crayon, marker or to draw sea turtle color shell
  15. Color in the turtle head and flippers with light to draw sea turtple color skin
  16. Use a dark green color to fill in the leathery skin on the sea turtles flippers and head. Think of the pattern like a mosaic to draw a sea turtle color skin pattern

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