A Guidline Step of How to Draw A Shark

Welcome to the world of shark drawing! If you’ve ever been fascinated by these majestic creatures of the deep and wanted to capture their beauty on paper, you’ve come to the right place. In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of drawing a shark from start to finish.

Drawing a shark may seem daunting at first, but with the right techniques and a little practice, you’ll be able to create impressive shark illustrations that showcase your artistic skills. So grab your pencils, sharpen your erasers, and let’s dive into the exciting world of shark drawing!

[Important Note:
Before we begin, it’s helpful to have some basic drawing supplies on hand, such as sketching pencils (HB, 2B, and 4B), an eraser, drawing paper, and a pencil sharpener. Having these tools readily available will make your drawing experience smoother.]

Understanding the Anatomy of a Shark

To draw a realistic shark, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of its anatomy. By familiarizing yourself with the key features and proportions, you’ll be able to accurately capture the essence of these magnificent creatures. Let’s break down the important elements of a shark’s anatomy:

1. Body Shape and Proportions

Sharks have a streamlined and elongated body shape, designed for efficient movement through the water. Their bodies are divided into three main sections:
the head, trunk, and tail. The head is wedge-shaped, leading to a cylindrical trunk that tapers towards the caudal fin, or tail.

2. Fin Placement and Types

Sharks have several fins that play a crucial role in their movement and stability. The pectoral fins, located on the sides of the shark’s body, assist in steering and maneuvering. The dorsal fin, positioned on the back, helps to maintain balance and prevent rolling. The caudal fin, or tail fin, provides propulsion and enables the shark to swim.

3. Mouth and Teeth

A shark’s mouth is located on the ventral side of its head, featuring a large and powerful jaw filled with rows of sharp, triangular teeth. The position and shape of the mouth can vary slightly depending on the shark species. Take note of these details to ensure accuracy in your drawing.

[Important Note:
When drawing the anatomy of a shark, it’s essential to reference images or diagrams to observe the specific characteristics of the species you intend to depict. This will help you capture the unique features accurately.]

Step-by-Step Guide: Sketching the Basic Shapes

Now that we have a solid understanding of a shark’s anatomy, it’s time to start sketching the basic shapes that will form the foundation of our drawing. This step will establish the overall structure and proportions of the shark. Follow along with these instructions:

1. Begin with the Main Body Shape

Using light pencil strokes, start by drawing a large oval shape for the shark’s body. Position it horizontally on your paper. This oval will serve as the framework for the trunk of the shark.

2. Add the Head and Tail

From one end of the oval, sketch a slightly triangular shape for the shark’s head. The snout should be pointed and elongated. Next, extend a curved line from the opposite end of the oval to form the tail of the shark. Ensure that the tail tapers gradually.

3. Outline the Pectoral and Dorsal Fins

Positioned on the sides of the shark’s body, draw two triangular shapes for the pectoral fins. These fins should be proportionate to the body size. On the top of the shark’s body, sketch a long, curved line for the dorsal fin. It should be taller towards the back and gradually decrease in height towards the head.

[Important Note:
Remember to keep your pencil strokes light at this stage. They will serve as guidelines that you can refine and darken later.]

Adding Detail and Texture to Your Shark Drawing

Now that we have the basic shapes in place, it’s time to add detail and texture to bring your shark drawing to life. By incorporating these elements, you can enhance the realism and visual appeal of your artwork. Follow these steps to add depth and dimension:

1. Refine the Outline

Using a darker pencil or pen, carefully trace over the main body shape, head, and tail of the shark. Pay attention to the curves and contours, ensuring smooth and clean lines. Erase any unnecessary guidelines from the previous step.

2. Define the Eyes and Mouth

Sharks have distinct eyes and mouths that contribute to their characteristic appearance. Draw a small circle for the eye on either side of the shark’s head. Add a curved line above each eye to represent the upper eyelid. For the mouth, draw a slightly curved line below the snout, extending it towards the gills. Use reference images to capture the specific features of the shark species you’re drawing.

3. Add Skin Texture and Details

Shark skin has a rough texture due to the presence of dermal denticles, also known as “skin teeth.” These denticles give sharks their unique feel and appearance. To represent this texture, lightly sketch small, overlapping V-shaped lines across the shark’s body. Concentrate more lines around the gill slits and fins. This technique will add realism and depth to your drawing.

[Important Note:
Take your time with the details, as they play a crucial role in capturing the essence of a shark. Observing reference images will help you depict the specific features and texture of the shark species you’re drawing.]

Mastering the Fins and Tail: A Detailed Approach

The fins and tail of a shark contribute greatly to its overall appearance and movement. In this step, we will focus on mastering the intricate details of these crucial features. By paying attention to their structure and shape, you’ll bring a sense of authenticity to your shark drawing. Let’s dive into the process:

1. Pectoral Fins

The pectoral fins play a vital role in a shark’s maneuverability. Start by refining the outline of the pectoral fins, ensuring they have a triangular shape with a slightly curved leading edge. Add smaller triangular shapes within the fins to represent the cartilage structure. Pay attention to the placement and angle of the fins, as they vary slightly between different shark species.

2. Dorsal Fin

The dorsal fin is a prominent feature of a shark’s anatomy. It provides stability and helps maintain balance while swimming. Refine the outline of the dorsal fin, making it tall and slightly curved. Pay attention to its position on the shark’s body, closer to the back. Add smaller triangular shapes within the fin to represent the supportive cartilage.

3. Caudal Fin (Tail)

The caudal fin, or tail, is responsible for the shark’s propulsion through the water. Begin by refining the outline of the tail, tapering it gradually from the body. Notice the distinct shape of the tail, which may vary depending on the shark species. Some sharks have a crescent-shaped tail, while others have a more elongated, pointed tail. Pay attention to reference images to accurately capture the tail shape of your chosen shark species.

[Important Note:
The precise structure and shape of the fins and tail can differ between shark species. It’s crucial to reference specific images or diagrams of the species you’re drawing to ensure accuracy.]

Creating Realistic Eyes and Mouth: Bringing Your Shark to Life

The eyes and mouth are key elements in capturing the expression and character of a shark. In this step, we will focus on creating realistic and captivating features that will bring your shark drawing to life. Pay close attention to the details as we proceed:

1. Eyes

The eyes of a shark can vary in size and shape depending on the species. Start by refining the outline of the eyes, making them slightly almond-shaped. Add a small, dark circle within each eye to represent the pupil. Surround the pupil with a lighter shade to indicate the iris. If your shark species has visible eyelids, carefully sketch them above the eyes using curved lines.

2. Mouth

The mouth of a shark is a defining feature that showcases its fierce and powerful nature. Refine the outline of the mouth, following the initial guidelines you sketched earlier. Pay attention to the shape and position of the mouth, which can vary between species. Add rows of sharp, triangular teeth along the upper and lower jaws, taking care to create a sense of depth by overlapping the teeth slightly. Use reference images to capture the unique tooth arrangement of the shark species you’re drawing.

[Important Note:
To achieve a realistic look, shading and highlighting techniques will be applied in subsequent steps. We’ll focus on capturing the structure and form of the eyes and mouth for now.]

Shading and Highlighting Techniques for Depth and Dimension

Shading and highlighting are essential techniques that add depth, dimension, and realism to your shark drawing. By skillfully applying these techniques, you can create the illusion of form and texture, making your shark appear more three-dimensional. Let’s explore the following shading and highlighting techniques:

1. Establish the Light Source

Before you begin shading, determine the direction of the light source in your drawing. This will help you decide where to place shadows and highlights. Consistency in the light source will contribute to a more realistic and cohesive final result.

2. Gradual Shading for Shadows

Using a soft pencil or a blending tool, gently shade the areas of the shark that would be in shadow. Start with light pressure and gradually build up the darkness. Pay attention to the contours of the shark’s body, fins, and features. Use reference images to guide you in identifying the shadowed areas and creating a smooth transition between light and shadow.

3. Highlights for Depth and Shine

To add highlights and create the illusion of shiny, reflective surfaces, carefully leave some areas of the shark untouched or lightly shaded. These areas will represent the spots where light hits the shark’s body directly. Use an eraser or a kneaded eraser to lift or lighten the pencil marks, creating highlights that contrast with the shaded areas. Be mindful of the reflections on the eyes, teeth, and any other glossy parts.

[Important Note:
Remember to take your time with shading and highlighting, as it requires patience and attention to detail. Practice on a separate sheet of paper if needed, and gradually incorporate these techniques into your shark drawing.]

You’re making great progress! Shading and highlighting techniques will bring a new level of depth and realism to your shark drawing. Take a moment to appreciate your work so far. When you’re ready, let me know, and we’ll continue to the next step:
exploring different shark species and their unique features!


Congratulations on completing your journey into the world of shark drawing! Throughout this step-by-step tutorial, you have learned the key techniques and skills required to create a realistic and captivating shark illustration. Let’s recap what we’ve covered:

  1. Introduction:
    We embarked on this artistic adventure, emphasizing the fascination and beauty of sharks.
  2. Understanding the Anatomy of a Shark:
    We delved into the essential elements of a shark’s anatomy, including body shape, fin placement, and mouth structure.
  3. Step-by-Step Guide:
    Sketching the Basic Shapes:
    We began by sketching the basic shapes of the shark’s body, head, tail, and fins, establishing the foundation of your drawing.
  4. Adding Detail and Texture to Your Shark Drawing:
    We enhanced your artwork by adding realistic details, such as refined outlines, eyes, and textured skin.
  5. Mastering the Fins and Tail:
    A Detailed Approach:
    We focused on the intricacies of the pectoral fins, dorsal fin, and caudal fin, mastering their structure and placement.
  6. Creating Realistic Eyes and Mouth:
    Bringing Your Shark to Life:
    We brought your shark to life by creating captivating eyes and a fierce mouth, capturing the essence and character of these creatures.
  7. Shading and Highlighting Techniques for Depth and Dimension:
    We explored shading and highlighting techniques to add depth, dimension, and realism to your shark drawing.

Now, armed with the knowledge and skills you have acquired, you can continue your artistic journey and explore different shark species, each with its unique features and characteristics. Remember to reference images and diagrams specific to the species you wish to draw, allowing you to capture their distinct traits accurately.

Keep practicing, experimenting, and refining your techniques. With dedication and perseverance, you will continue to develop your artistic abilities and create stunning shark drawings that inspire awe and admiration.

Enjoy the process of artistic expression, and may your future drawings continue to captivate and inspire others. Happy drawing!


Can I use these drawing techniques to draw other sea creatures besides sharks?
Absolutely! While this tutorial focuses on drawing sharks, many of the techniques and principles can be applied to drawing other sea creatures as well. Feel free to adapt and explore with different subjects.

Are there any specific drawing supplies I need to follow this tutorial?
It’s helpful to have basic drawing supplies such as sketching pencils (HB, 2B, and 4B), an eraser, drawing paper, and a pencil sharpener. These tools will facilitate your drawing process.

How long does it take to become proficient in drawing sharks?
Becoming proficient in drawing sharks, or any subject, takes time and practice. The speed of progress varies for each individual. Consistent practice, dedication, and a passion for improvement will contribute to your growth as an artist.

Can I draw sharks digitally using this tutorial?
Certainly! The techniques discussed in this tutorial can be applied both to traditional and digital drawing methods. Adapt the instructions to suit your preferred medium.

Are there any recommended resources or references to further enhance my shark drawings?
Absolutely! Exploring books, online tutorials, and references specific to shark anatomy and species can greatly enhance your understanding and accuracy. Utilize these resources to refine your skills and gain inspiration.

Can I add my own creative elements to the shark drawings?
Definitely! While this tutorial provides a structured approach, feel free to infuse your own creativity and style into your shark drawings. Experiment with different compositions, backgrounds, or color palettes to make your artwork unique.

How can I share my shark drawings with others and get feedback?
There are various platforms available for sharing your artwork, such as social media platforms, online art communities, and art forums. Participating in these communities allows you to connect with fellow artists and receive valuable feedback on your drawings.

Can I sell my shark drawings once I’ve completed them?
Yes, absolutely! Once you’ve created your shark drawings, you have the option to sell them. You can explore online marketplaces, art galleries, or even set up your own website or online store to showcase and sell your artwork.

A Guidline Step of How to Draw A Shark