How to Draw a Turtle

Learn How to Draw a Turtle in this online drawing lesson!

Hey there! Welcome to my How to Draw a Turtle tutorial. I'm Matilda, your eccentric online drawing sidekick, and I'll be guiding you through the steps on how to draw your very own cartoon turtle. =)

How to Draw a Turtle - Online Drawing Lesson

Step 1: Imagine with guidelines!

Before drawing anything, try Imagining what you want to draw first!

It gives you a clear direction on what to draw instead of feeling hopelessly lost.

E.g. what kind of turtle? Its position? Looks?

Sketch or write down what you have pictured.

E.g. A cartoon turtle with a rock-like shell (like a box turtle?)

Roughly sketch in Guidelines using basic shapes.

Head: Circle with 2 lines for middle of face and eye position. (in 3/4 view)
Shell: A semi-circle starting from top of head with the base at bottom of head.
Legs: 4 rectangles

Step 2: Sketch in your Cartoon Turtle


  • Simply follow guidelines till around the 3/4 mark then draw a line in for the cartoon turtle's beak-like mouth.
  • Start the lower jaw from the middle of the mouth and follow the rest of the guideline as shown.


Draw over the top semi-circle. Then draw in a curvy line from the head to the end as shown.


Bend them a little near the middle.

Face and Tail

Eye: Circle on horizontal head line with a smaller circle inside for 'white area'

'Brow': Add a wide 'n' on top of your cartoon turtle's eye and on top of the head to represent the other eye.

Tail: Draw in at end of shell.

How to Draw a Turtle Final Step: Fun Details!

Congratulations on reaching the last step! Now all you have to do is fill in the details and final bits of your cartoon box turtle. Here's what I did:

  • Drew in jagged edges of shell and head. (you can leave it smooth too!)
  • Added a secondary curve at bottom of shell.
  • Made mouth longer.
  • Drew in neck.
  • The bottom flat shell has also been added in.
  • Patterns on turtle shell. Bigger patterns on top and smaller ones at the bottom. (It'll be great if you could use references for the patterns!)

You can also add in some turtle scales on the legs and head if you want! Remember to try not to draw them all over your cartoon turtle. It'll turn out rather overkill. ^_^"

I hope you've enjoyed yet another of my online drawing classes! Remember to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or requests.

If you liked this tutorial, why not try these online drawing classes too?

How to Draw a Cat

How to Draw a Fish

How to Draw a Rabbit