How to Draw Cartoon Elephants

Hiya! Welcome to my How to Draw Cartoon Elephants tutorial. I'm Matilda, your cartoon drawing sidekick and I'll be showing you the steps to draw your very own adorable elephant!

How to Draw Cartoon Elephants Tutorial

Step 1: Imagine with Guidelines

Imagine what your elephant will look like. His/her looks? Pose?

If you feel lost at this step, browse around the web and look for reference pictures. Trust me, looking at the real thing helps. =)

Websites like deviantART have lots of free, good quality reference photos. Keep in mind to read the artists' terms of use before downloading or using them.

Write or Sketch your ideas down.

Eg: A Cute toy-like Cartoon Elephant with one ear flopped downwards.

Draw Guidelines using Basic Shapes

  • Head: A circle with a cross in it.

    The horizontal line of the cross is used to indicate eye position. If you'd like your elephants' eyes to be higher, go for a higher line.

  • Ears: Two triangles pointing down. Behind the head.

    The right ear will be a tad bit smaller then the left since I'm folding it down.

cartoon elephants guide 1

  • Body: An oval that's smaller than the head. Behind both the ears and the head.
  • Legs: 3 rectangles.

    The leg at the back is slightly angled to make it look like it's walking.

  • Trunk: Start slightly below your horizontal line. Semi-circle at the top, rectangle at bottom.

cartoon elephants guide 2

Step 2: Sketching in your Elephant

Head and Ears

  • When drawing head, stop where the trunk guideline intersects.
  • Try to draw the ears rounded at the tips. Feel free to make them bigger or smaller.

cartoon elephants 1


  • Draw it in a downward cone shape.
  • The end of the trunk is coiled backwards.

cartoon elephants 2

Body and Legs

  • Simply follow the guidelines and don't draw over any present lines.

cartoon elephants 3


  • Just draw in 2 circles on the horizontal guideline.
  • Place them on either side of the trunk.
  • Draw small circles in each eye for 'white areas'.

cartoon elephants 4

Step 3: Fun Details!

Great work on reaching the last step of this tutorial! All you have to do is to add in a couple of details. Here's an example of what you can do:

cartoon elephants final

  • Filled in eyes. Try not to colour in the smaller circles in the eyes!
  • Drew in the inside of the left ear to show that it's opened up.
  • Toes! Simply draw 'M' shapes on the feet.

Matilda's Tips and Tricks!


The great thing about Cartoons is how flexible it can be! You can create a very toy-like elephant, or a more realistic looking one. The possibilities are endless.

Remember to always look for reference pictures, experiment, and practise! Take a look at the slightly realistic cartoon elephant below. =)

cartoon elephants realistic

So there you have it. Adorable Cartoon Elephants that can even make guys squeal.
(No, Really.) You can even add in a small yellow cap at the top and you get Dumbo! (the Elephant, I'm not saying someone's dumb!)

If you liked this tutorial, try these out!

How to Draw Dog

How to Draw a Fish

How to Draw a Monkey