How to Draw a Cartoon Shark

Cartoon shark drawing

If we’re going to draw a cartoon shark, then it mine as well be the ‘king of all the sharks’… the GREAT WHITE!

When thinking up a neat way to show you how to draw one, I thought I’d try something a little different. If you look at the drawing to the right (or any shark for that matter)… you’ll notice the body is contained by a series of sharp angles.

When viewed from the side, it’s the nose, fins and tail – sharply angled… are its most defined physical features. In this lesson, you’ll begin with these angular features, and once they’re in place… carry on with the body and the details.

Let’s begin!

First Step – Map Out the Features of Your Shark Along a Line

Swimming through the water, a shark’s body is positioned horizontally. And so, it makes sense to use a simple horizontal line to help you bring your shark into view. Four vertical lines can then be used to position the angular features of the animal.

Like so…

A horizontal line to draw a cartoon shark Vertical lines marking the various parts of the shark

Position each vertical line similar to how I’ve done it above. We’re not aiming for perfection here, but still… it’s important that you arrange the physical features so that they do take the form of what a shark is ‘supposed to‘ look like. As with any cartoon drawing, you can always exaggerate features – more so, or less as you progress.

Now, let’s draw this shark!….

Second Step – Fins First, Body Second… Draw Your Cartoon Shark

Below, you can see how I’ve brought the shark into view beginning with the angular parts, and then drawing the perimeter of the body after. While you’re doing this, it’s important that you’re conscientious of the inner space that exists along the horizontal line and between these angular features.

Do your best to line up the fins and tail with the next-to-be-drawn lines that bring the body of your shark into view…

Drawing the fins and tail of the cartoon shark Drawing the back of the cartoon shark Drawing the head of the cartoon shark Completing the body of the cartoon shark

Keep in mind, once the fins and tail are in place, the body of your shark is easier to see. Aim for a nice balance with respect to height and position of each fin and tail segment — in relation to drawing the body that follows. Be sure to leave a small opening for the mouth as well.

Comparing this drawing process to other lessons here on the site, this approach may seem a bit unusual to you. You may find it easier to work with shapes first – a big oval perhaps… or even a series of rectangles and triangles. There’s always more than one way to draw something and so, I encourage you to explore and use the method that works best for you!

Alright, let’s finish off this Great White cartoon shark…

Drawing of a cartoon shark

Final Step – Shark Complete

A few well-placed lines is all it takes to give your shark that ‘fierce look‘ that they’re so ever infamous for. For example…

Start by drawing the eye and the nostril. Then, go ahead and sketch in some razor-sharp teeth, followed by a few gill slits. Finally – to ensure that yes — this is a Great White… draw a free-flowing line that extends from the nose – around the mouth… and all the way to the end of your shark’s underside.

And after that? You guessed it!… color your cartoon shark and you’re off to the races!