How To

How To Draw A Shark


How To Draw A Shark

Share this article
How To Draw A Shark

How To Draw A Shark

How to Draw a Shark: A Comprehensive Guide for Artists of All Levels

Sharks, the majestic apex predators of the ocean, have captivated our imaginations for centuries. Their sleek and powerful form has been immortalized in countless works of art, from ancient rock carvings to modern digital illustrations. If you’re an aspiring artist eager to capture the essence of these fascinating creatures, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the tools and techniques you need to draw a shark that leaps off the page.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Pencil (HB or 2B)
  • Eraser
  • Paper (drawing paper or sketchbook)
  • Ruler or T-square (optional)
  • Black pen or marker (fine-tip)
  • Colored pencils, markers, or paints (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Sketch the Basic Shape

  • Start by drawing an elongated oval shape for the shark’s body. This oval should be slightly wider in the middle and tapered at both ends.
  • Add a curved line for the dorsal fin, extending from the middle of the body towards the tail.
  • Sketch two smaller curved lines for the pectoral fins, located on the sides of the body just behind the head.
  • Draw a short curved line for the pelvic fin, positioned slightly forward of the tail.

2. Define the Head

  • Draw a small circle near the front of the body for the shark’s head.
  • Add two smaller circles inside the head for the eyes.
  • Sketch a curved line for the mouth, which should be slightly open with sharp teeth visible.

3. Add the Tail

  • Draw a long, slender triangle for the tail. The triangle should be wider at the base and taper towards the tip.
  • Divide the tail into two lobes by drawing a curved line down the center.
  • Add small curves to the edges of the lobes to create a fin-like appearance.

4. Draw the Gills and Details

  • Sketch a series of curved lines on the sides of the body behind the head to represent the gills.
  • Add small, dot-like markings along the body to mimic the shark’s rough skin texture.
  • Draw a few sharp spikes along the leading edge of the dorsal fin for added realism.

5. Refine Your Sketch

  • Using an eraser, carefully remove any unnecessary lines or smudges.
  • Go over the remaining lines with a darker pencil to reinforce the shape and structure.
  • Pay attention to the flow and movement of the shark’s body, adding subtle curves and angles to enhance its realism.

6. Ink and Color (Optional)

  • Once you’re satisfied with your sketch, trace over the lines with a fine-tip black pen or marker.
  • Color your shark as desired using colored pencils, markers, or paints. Choose colors that mimic the natural hues of sharks, such as gray, blue, or green. You can also add highlights and shadows to create depth and texture.

Tips for Drawing Different Shark Species:

  • Great White Shark: Draw a pointed snout, larger pectoral fins, and a more distinct dorsal fin.
  • Tiger Shark: Add vertical stripes or spots on the body and a larger, more rounded dorsal fin.
  • Hammerhead Shark: Draw a wide, flattened head shaped like a hammer.
  • Whale Shark: Depict a massive, elongated body with small dorsal fins and spots or stripes.
  • Bull Shark: Draw a more robust body with a shorter, rounder head and a wide mouth.


1. What type of pencil is best for drawing a shark?

For sketching, use an HB or 2B pencil for versatility and ease of blending. For outlining and refining, a darker pencil such as 6B or 8B will create bolder lines.

2. How can I make my shark look more realistic?

Pay attention to the shape and structure of real sharks. Study their anatomy, including the placement of their fins, gills, and mouth. Use reference photos or videos to capture their movements and appearance.

3. What are some techniques for adding texture to my shark drawing?

Use a variety of pencil strokes, from light and smooth to dark and rough. Hatching and cross-hatching techniques can also create different textures on the skin, fins, and gills.

4. How can I draw a shark underwater?

Capture the refraction of light and the distortion of water by adding wavy lines around the shark’s body. Use lighter colors and softer edges to create the illusion of depth.

5. Is it possible to draw a shark without using a pencil?

Yes, you can use other drawing tools such as charcoal, pens, or markers. Each medium has its own unique characteristics and can produce different effects.


Drawing a shark requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding of its anatomy and movement. By following the steps outlined in this guide and practicing patience, you can create stunning and realistic depictions of these fascinating creatures. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, the journey of capturing the essence of a shark on paper is both enjoyable and rewarding.