How to Draw a Cartoon Octopus

Cartoon octopus drawing

Drawing a cartoon octopus like the one pictured above, is quite a bit of fun – as really… there are all sorts of ways you can go about it.

Here though, let’s start off from a blueprint of simple shapes and lines – something we can use to establish structure early on. Then, if you like – go ahead and branch off to come up with your own unique version of the character.

Let’s begin!

Drawing a Cartoon Phoenix

Beginning with simple framework – an arrangement of basic shapes to help visualize the structure of the subject, carefully and lightly – create a base from which to draw your cartoon octopus.

A large oval will do nicely for the head in this case. Notice here though, as sort of a ‘pivotal point’ – I’ve added a small circle at the base. This will be the central point – where the head and legs connect…

Circle and oval framework for an octopus

Next up – giving it a ‘3D’ look – add some curved lines (if you like), and also… draw in the eight legs.

At this point – the legs are basic curved lines. But – they act as placeholders – to sketch in the final legs as we’ll do very soon. Use this to visualize mentally – or actually… on the paper in front of you…

Completed framework for drawing an octopus

And now to the first part of the drawing. A big circle to station its right eye

Drawing the eye of the octopus

And then – follow it up by mirroring its other eye. Note though – due to perspective… a slight 3/4 head tilt away from the observer… the left eye will appear smaller.

Here’s how it looks…

Drawing eyes of the octopus

A key defining feature of any octopus… sketch in its big ovular head. By sketching the eyes first – this part is all the more easy. Working from ‘front to back’ works well.

Here it is…

Drawing the head of the octopus

OK. A few more curves – and it’s on to the legs… eight of them!

How does your cartoon octopus look anyway? Remember – don’t be too hung up on getting yours to look like mine. The whole point is to have you totally ‘tangent off’ and whip up an entirely new look – but with a little help here… you can establish a nice ‘octopusish’ structure while doing it! 🙂

Drawing the tentacles of the octopus

Notice perspective being taken into account with the legs. Based on the position of each one – lines will overlap accordingly.

So… the inner flaps of skin, connecting each leg… can either be seen ‘entirely’ or ‘not entirely’ depending on the legs position. The central leg – just below the orange connector dot appears as foremost in the drawing. The other legs – from left to right… appear behind – and so… we see the overlapping of lines.

Drawing the tentacles of the cartoon octopus

Here’s what my cartoon octopus looks like with its legs complete…

Drawing of a cartoon octopus

And – minus the framework of underlying lightly sketched lines (if you drew them! – you really don’t have to… it’s just for extra help) – we now have a nice, crisp black-lined drawing…

Black and white drawing of an octopus

So of course – add a splash of color now…

Drawing of a cartoon octopus

And there it is – your eight-legged deep-sea dweller, complete!

I think the mouth is a nice finishing touch – don’t you? With and without – you get two totally distinct looks. Experiment with yours… smaller eyes… longer legs. Heck – make it ‘mechanical’ – that would be cool!

And stay tuned for more lessons to come. 🙂