How to Draw Cartoon Penguins

Cartoon penguins drawing

It’s the march of the penguins… cartoon penguins that is! Actually, in this lesson we’ll be focusing on how to draw just one penguin – but later, you can draw more for a whole army!

Drawing a penguin is a fairly simple task because the shape of their bodies is composed of only a small circle for the head, and a long vertical oval for the body. Pretty simple indeed.

But, while these birds are usually easy to draw, I leave more up to you in this particular lesson. Getting the shape down is no problem, but drawing the penguin as well as adding in the details may be a little more tricky… we’ll see.

Have a look at the cartoon penguin to the right. This is what yours can look like when you’re all done. A few simple details and the addition of color can make it really stand out.

OK then, let’s have a look at drawing this penguin…

Framework for drawing cartoon penguins

First Step – A Circle and an Oval

Just I suggested above, go ahead and draw a small circle for the head of your penguin followed by a nice long vertical oval for the body of your penguin.

In other lessons, I asked you to start off with a "centerline". But this little guy is going to be facing ever-so-slightly to the left (your right). Because of this, it only makes sense to worry about symmetry after you get the basic shape down first.

Remember too, this step involves mapping out the framework of your cartoon penguin. So, it’s a very good idea to use a pencil – or even better… a dotted line. Yes, do the dotted line (grey lines) now, and save the pencil for later (blue lines) when you start drawing the actual shape of your penguin.

Very nice then… let’s move on to the next step!

Simple framework for drawing cartoon penguins

Second Step – Penguin Lines

Alright, now let’s go ahead and draw in some very simple lines that will help us to map out the shape of our penguins. Where to start? Much the same as usual… with the head.

The penguins head is turned slightly to the side. So don’t worry about drawing a cross to keep symmetry. Instead, position the eye a little above the center and then draw a line extending out and to the right to map out the position of your penguins beak.

OK – now draw a centerline. Make it slightly off-centered to the right so that you can show that your cartoon penguin is slightly turned to the left.

With the centerline in place, you can then easily position the right and left flippers, along with the feet of your penguin. Do this and remember that the left flipper (your right) is slightly hidden by the body and is only partially visible.

Third Step – Your Cartoon Penguins Shape

In this step, you get to slowly develop the shape of your penguin. It’s here that you’ll see why although penguins are usually very easy to draw, this lesson is "Intermediate," as I leave a lot of the shape development up to you!

Here’s a step-by-step walk through of how I developed my penguin. Do follow along, but don’t be afraid to change things to better suit the penguin that you want to create…

Drawing the head of the penguin Drawing the body and flippers of the penguin Drawing the feet of the cartoon penguin

Instead using core framework shapes to help you create your drawing, you’re working with simple lines. These lines do help you maintain symmetry, but they are not as precise in keeping proportion. Eye things out carefully while trying to keep the flippers and feet relatively the same size.

Start with the head by drawing the outer shape followed by the beak. Then, move down the left side and go alongside/around the grey line to create a flipper for your cartoon penguin. Next, sketch in the body and the portion of the left flipper that is visible.

Last thing, give your penguin some feet… happy feet! 🙂

Fourth Step – Finalize the Shape and Details with a Pen/Marker

Up until now, you’ve used a pencil to sketch out some guidelines for your cartoon penguin. First with the dotted lines (grey) and then with the lightly sketched pencil lines (blue)… now it’s time to take out something more permanent to finish the job!

Finalize the shape and details of your penguin with a pen or marker. As you move along, feel free to deviate from the framework to come up with cartoon penguin design that is uniquely yours!

Ready… Set… Go!!

Drawing the penguin's head Drawing the penguin's body and flippers Drawing the penguin's feet

OK, how’d you do? A penguin with a truly unique look I’m sure!

When you’re finished, erase the underlying pencil so all that’s left is your final cartoon penguin drawing…

Mine resembles an "emperor penguin" or even a "king penguin". These types of penguins are famous for having bright colors such as yellow, orange and red… aside from the usual black & white combo. And as you saw above, I most certainly took this into consideration.

Alright then, let the march begin!

Drawing of many cartoon penguins

Final Step – March of the Penguins!

Yes, you read it right — more cartoon penguins! Once you draw one, it’s kind of difficult to refrain from drawing more. After all, penguins are known to hang out in large numbers.

And now that you’ve got a solid understanding of how to draw cartoon penguins, creating a small army of marching penguins will be a much more doable task!

Well, that concludes this lesson. As always, come on back soon for another… who knows what kind of cartoon animal drawing lessons will come up next!?

Happy feet, and happy drawing!